Manolo Santana Writes Open Letter Opposing Davis Cup Reforms - UBITENNIS
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Manolo Santana Writes Open Letter Opposing Davis Cup Reforms

Manolo Santana has wrote an open letter explaining that he opposes the Davis Cup reforms that are being suggested at next week’s AGM meeting.

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Manolo Santana (zimbio.com)

Four time grand slam champion, Manolo Santana has wrote an open letter today to announce that he is opposing the Davis Cup reforms, which will be voted on next week. 

 

The former world number one has clarified his thoughts and feelings on the upcoming Davis Cup reforms in an emotional letter today, in which he opposes the reforms. The Spaniard did say that he would like to see some change to the Davis Cup but this isn’t the change he desired as he doesn’t believe in doing it for economic benefits. Here are some of the key points from his passionate letter to the ‘fans of tennis and journalists’:

  • He states his previous success in Davis Cup and reaffirms his current passion stating, “And this passion for Davis Cup I still have. In fact, this year I have not hesitated for a second to be present in Marbella and Valencia cheering and supporting Spain in each tie. And I can say (and I’ve lived a lot) that the images I lived in the Plaza de Toros in Valencia were magical, unforgettable.”
  • He explains that there does need to be some kind of reform change for the Davis Cup however there needs to be the ‘greatest possible transparency and thinking about the good of tennis not purely economic interests.’
  • He explains that the ITF asked him if Madrid could be one of the potential venues in the future but says he is ‘not in favour’ if the Mutua Madrid Open is put at risk.
  • The reason for not wanting to host it in Madrid is simple for him because “This new Davis would arrive in Madrid for a couple of years and then go to any city in Asia, USA. UU or to any other point on the planet. The Davis in Madrid would be an eventual tournament, passenger.”
  • He has faith in those voting in Orlando next week that they will do in what is in the best interest of tennis as he believes Federations have given this decision thought.
  • He says the Davis Cup has been with him for most of his life and understands that no many people ‘think like me.’
  • He finishes his letter with, “After decades competing in this wonderful competition that I adore, I could not remain silent. The Davis Cup has been (and is!) Part of my life and it would break my heart if its essence is distorted. Long live the Davis Cup.”

The passionate letter from Santana is one written with honesty in passion as he believes the reforms are done with the wrong intentions and that the history of this great competition should take priority over the profit that would be gained.

Federation members will vote next Thursday in Orlando, Florida on the following reforms:

  • An 18 team tournament at the end of the year in one venue, which would be held in Europe for the first two years.
  • A 24 team qualifying event in February, which would consist of 12 home and away ties, with the 12 winners advancing to the end of season tournament along with the four semi-finalists from the previous year’s Davis Cup and two wildcards. The losers compete in the Zone Groups.
  • The tournament would consist of six round robin groups of three teams in each group, with Quarter-Finals, Semi-Finals and Finals following the group stage.
  • Teams placed 17th and 18th would automatically be relegated to the zonal groups, with 5th to 16th competing in following year’s qualifying event.
  • Ties contested at the event will be two singles and one doubles all on one day while the qualifying event and zone groups will have four singles and one doubles spread over two days.
  • All matches would be best of three tiebreak sets.

The reforms need a two-thirds majority to be approved.

 

 

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Davis Cup

Spain to face Russia and Ecuador in Davis Cup Finals next November

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The draw of the 2020 Davis Cup Finals in Madrid took place at the ITF offices in London on 12th March. The Davis Cup Finals will begin in Madrid on 23rd November 2020.

 

Defending champions Spain has been drawn in the Group A against Russia and Ecuador. Last year Rafael Nadal guided the Spanish team to the triumph in the final against Canada at the Caja Magica.

This year’s ATP Cup champions Serbia will face Germany and Austria in a Group A, which features three top 10 players Novak Djokovic, Dominic Thiem and Alexander Zverev. Djokovic beat Thiem in this year’s final of the Australian Open.

In the Group E the USA will take on Italy in a re-match of last year’s late round-robin match. These two teams were drawn against Colombia.Last year’s finalists Canada will meet Sweden and Kazakhstan.

Three former Davis Cup champions France, Great Britain and Czech Republic have been drawn in Group C.

 

Croatia will clash against Australia and Hungary in Group D.

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John Millman Praises ‘Special’ Atmosphere After Australia’s Davis Cup Triumph

John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide after their 3-1 win over Brazil.

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John Millman and Lleyton Hewitt (@TennisAustralia - Twitter)

John Millman praised the ‘special’ Davis Cup atmosphere in Adelaide this weekend after Australia booked their spot in the Davis Cup Finals. 

 

As Australia headed into the second day with a 2-0 advantage, many people expected a comfortable 3-0 win for the hosts but that turned out not to be the case.

Marcelo Demoliner and Felipe Meligini Rodrigues Alves gave Brazil hope after an epic 2 hour and 54 minute win over James Duckworth and John Peers.

A 5-7 7-5 7-6(6) victory for the Brazilians saw the tie taken into a fourth rubber as John Millman knew he had to step up to seal victory for the Aussies.

Another sensational match as Millman battled past Thiago Monteiro 6-7(6) 7-6(3) 7-6(3) to secure a thrilling win and Australia’s place in November’s Davis Cup Finals.

After sealing the win, Millman praised the special atmosphere in Adelaide over the two days, “To have an experience like this, that’s better than just about any experience I’ve had,” Millman told Tennis Australia.

“It was something pretty special this weekend. I enjoyed every second of it. It was so much fun. It was an emotional rollercoaster and we’re so happy to get through. To do it with these boys, it’s been a really special week.”

As for captain Lleyton Hewitt, this win typified what he loves about the home and away format that the Davis Cup Qualifiers shows, “There were ebbs and flows in all the matches. It could have gone either way,” Hewitt said.

“That is what Davis Cup is about and that’s why I love the home and away format. To have the atmosphere and the crowd involvement, it was a lot of fun for us to be out there.

“For these guys to play in front of their home fans again, they don’t get to do it throughout the year that often. I’m just thrilled for them that they get to enjoy it and be part of it. It is something really special.”

Next for Hewitt and his Australian team will be the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid, where they will join last year’s semi-finalists Spain, Canada, Great Britain and Russia as well as wildcards Serbia and France.

Also qualifying for November’s showpiece were Ecuador and Kazakhstan after their respective wins over Japan and the Netherlands.

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Kei Nishikori Out Of Davis Cup In Latest Blow To Japan

More bad news for fans of the injury-stricken player.

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Former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori has hinted that he may not be able to return to the tour until the clay season after withdrawing from his country’s upcoming Davis Cup tie against Ecuador.

 

Nishikori, who is currently ranked 31st in the world, had been in Miki training ahead of his country’s clash in the team competition. Raising hopes that he will be making a return this weekend. However, he has now confirmed that he is not fully at the level he needs to be to play. The 30-year-old hasn’t played a competitive match since September after undergoing surgery on his right elbow.

“Physically I’m not at my max.” AFP news quoted Nishikori as saying on Thursday.
“I want to return to competition after I improve my strength and become fully confident.
“It might be after Miami or during the clay season,” he added.

Japan will now enter their tie without their two top ranked players on the tour. Another notable absentee is world No.48 Yoshihito Nishioka, who has pulled out of the competition over coronavirus concerns. Yesterday the country recorded it’s 1000th infection of the illness, which is also known as Covid-19. The outbreak has affected many public events in Japan, but officials are confident that this year’s Olympic Games will go ahead as planned.

As a result of the outbreak, the Davis Cup clash will take place behind closed doors. The decision was jointly made between the ITF, Japanese Tennis Association and the country’s government. Baseball matches in the country have also been played without a crowd and the football J-League has been postponed.

“I am grateful just to be held while many sports are being cancelled.” Yasutaka Uchiyama told reporters.
“I want to get results firmly for the fans who support me in front of the TV. ”

Uchiyama and Go Soeda will be the two players who are playing singles in the tie against Ecuador instead of Nishikori and Nishioka.

Another Davis Cup tie affected by the Coronavirus is Italy’s home tie with South Korea. The government announced on Wednesday that all sporting fixtures will be played behind closed doors until April 3rd. Italy is the worst affected country in Europe with more than 3000 cases.

During a recent interview with Ubitennis, the ITF has said that are monitoring the threat posed by Covid-19 to their tournaments on a ‘case by case’ basis and are liaising with the relevant authorities. The ITF is the body which runs the Davis Cup.

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