Nicolas Mahut And Julien Benneteau Seal Second Consecutive Davis Cup Final For France - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup

Nicolas Mahut And Julien Benneteau Seal Second Consecutive Davis Cup Final For France

Julien Benneteau was the star man as he and Nicolas Mahut lead France into a second consecutive Davis Cup final.

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Julien Benneteau (zimbio.com)

Nicolas Mahut and Julien Benneteau defeated Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers 6-0 6-4 7-6(6) to seal France’s place in a second consecutive Davis Cup final. 

 

The French pair wasted no time in making their mark on the match as their returning was unstoppable in the first set. The Spaniards were playing as a team for the first team and it showed as they showed a lack of communication throughout the contest.

The story of the match was how well Benneteau was playing as the French veteran came out of immediate retirement to play this match. From phenomenal backhands to tweeners, Benneteau had it all going on as he lead the French team to the first set in 15 minutes.

The second set was much better from Lopez and Granollers on serve as they finally got on the board and built some steady momentum. There was concern in the second set as Lopez accidently hit the ball onto his own face as he needed an ice pack to heal his cheekbone throughout the match.

Despite the visitors’ good serving they couldn’t make the breakthrough and the one break of serve was enough for the hosts as they were within touching distance of another final. After a much needed toilet break, the Spaniards eventually came to life with a break to love helping them to a 3-0 lead.

The French pair looked frustrated as Granollers started to play better in the third set as they looked on their way to forcing a fourth set at least. However their poor communication proved costly as Lopez failed to pounce on a volley as the third set was back on serve.

https://twitter.com/DavisCup/status/1040960010807914496

Some resilience from the Benneteau and Mahut duo forced a third set tiebreak as the Spaniards looked frustrated at what had just occurred. The tiebreak provided moments of drama as Granollers seemed to drag this match as long as possible with some stunning backhands.

Eventually though Benneteau wasn’t to be denied as a stunning backhand saw the veteran with tears down his face as he sealed France’s place in the Davis Cup final for a second year in a row. The 36 year old was arguably the man of the match as on his final year on the tour, he secures France’s place in history.

As for Spain it’s a case of what could have been as injuries to Rafael Nadal, Pablo Carreno Busta, Fernando Verdasco and Marc Lopez didn’t help their cause and Bautista Agut’s five set loss yesterday was the final nail in the coffin. However progress has been made for Spain despite the loss as it is the first time since 2012 that they reached the semi-finals of the Davis Cup.

France will now play Croatia or USA in the final in November. The win over Spain means it is the first time they have reached back-to-back finals since 2002.

Davis Cup

Gerard Pique’s Pessimistic Davis Cup Outlook Blasted By French Tennis Star

The football player has been urged to ‘put more energy’ in finding a solution for the event to take place in 2020.

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Kosmos founder Gerard Pique has come under fire over his plans for the Davis Cup Finals later this year after recently casting doubt on the event taking place due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

 

Pique, whose company helped finance the transformation of the 120-year-old team competition, recently admitted that he was doubtful that the event could go ahead if crowds weren’t allowed to attend. Last year was the first time the new format of the competition took place with 18 teams featuring in a week-long round-robin tournament which was won by host nation Spain.

“I’m a bit pessimistic, to have the Davis Cup with no fans is difficult,” Pique told Movistar.
“There is a lot of uncertainty. We are listening to what the sport’s ministry and the government are telling us about whether we’ll have the ability to have fans.”

All professional tennis tournaments have been suspended since March due to the Pandemic. Officials are hoping to be able to get the sport going again in August ahead of the US Open that is scheduled to take place. Although some have doubts about the chances of the Tour’s starting by then, including world No.43 John Millman.

Amid the ongoing uncertainty, French tennis star Nicolas Mahut has criticized Pique’s bleak outlook for this year’s Davis Cup finale. The 38-year-old has represented his country in 13 ties, including the 2018 final as well as the semifinals in two other years.

“We don’t have a lot of information. But as a player, you can just trust the official statements. And when I hear Pique, I’m extremely disappointed,” Mahut told L’Equipe.

Mahut has called on Pique to explore more options such as potentially relocating the event to another country if it would make it safer for the event to go ahead. Implying that he was his duty to do so after setting ‘to destroy the formula’ of the event. Critics of the revamp have accused Pique of ruining the traditional competition.

“I would like him to put as much energy into saving the Davis Cup that he has set up. That is to say, to find solutions for it to take place in Madrid or elsewhere, as he has set to destroy the formula that had been in place for over a hundred years,” he said,
“The message he sent through his statements, is: ” If Madrid is complicated and we cannot do it, well it cancels and I save some money. ” And it bothers me a lot compared to what has happened for more than a year. We don’t play with this competition. Maybe that suits it.”

Kosmos has signed a $3 billion 25-year deal with the ITF to acquire the rights for the Davis Cup Finals.

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Davis Cup

Davis Cup Finals In Doubt, Admits Gerard Pique

The Kosmos founder explains why he isn’t too optimistic about the team event going ahead later this year.

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: Crowds of peoples during of the Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2019 at Caja Magica on November 24, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Kosmos Tennis)

The chances of this year’s Davis Cup Finals taking place are still up in the air with one of the key figures involved in the competition openly saying that he is ‘pessimistic’ about its chances.

 

Football star Gerard Pique is one the driving forces behind the new format following a huge financial investment from his company Kosmos. Signing a 25-year deal with the International Tennis Federation worth in the region of $3 billion. Despite the significant investment, Pique admits that he has low hopes of the event taking place later this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All professional tennis tournaments have been halted since March.

“There is a lot of uncertainty, we try to be aware of what the government says regarding sports and to whether we can put spectators inside the Caja Magica,” Pique said during an interview with Movistar.
“I would say I am a bit pessimistic, because a Davis Cup without fans is difficult.
“I think that nobody at the moment has the certainty that we can put fans in or if it will have to be behind closed doors. As the days go by, I suppose we will have a little more clarity.”

Spain is currently in the process of relaxing some of their lockdown restrictions with tennis players being able to train at local facilities from next week. The country is following a four-stage plan with the hope that their premier La Liga football league will resume next month at some stage.

However, the issue for the Davis Cup is the limited number of fans that would be able to go to the tournament if it takes place. In more advanced stages of the plans, no more than 50 people can attend an indoor venue. Although the number could be increased by November, it will be a stark difference to 2019. Held at the Caja Magica, the total capacity of the premier court is 12,500 people.

Last year’s final saw Spain lift the title for the first time since 2011 after they defeated Canada in the final. The two teams are seeded third and sixth in this year’s draw.

The Davis Cup is scheduled to take place between November 23-29 in Madrid. The ATP, WTA and ITF will not restart their Tour’s until at least July 13th, however, there is speculation that the suspension will be extended in the coming weeks.

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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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