Serena Williams’ US Open Outburst Dominates Davis Cup Talk, But Gets Little Support - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams’ US Open Outburst Dominates Davis Cup Talk, But Gets Little Support

On the eve of the Davis Cup, players from the ATP Tour speak about the biggest topic in tennis right now.

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It is rare that on the evening of the Davis Cup the main talking point focuses on a women’s match, but that is a scenario that many ties have found themselves in this week.

 

Serena Williams’ now infamous confrontation with umpire Carlos Ramos has made headlines around the world and split public opinion. During the US Open final, the former world No.1 receive a total of three warnings. The first was for alleged coaching, which Williams heavily disputed. Although her coach, Patrick Mouratoglou, admitted that he was doing so after the match. She was then given a second penalty for racket abuse before having a game penalty for calling Ramos a ‘liar.’ Williams was later fined a total of $17,000.

Williams had claimed that Ramos’ actions were sexist. Something that has been met with a mixed response. The WTA later backed the 36-year-old along with the USTA. Although the ITF has stated that Ramos’ actions was in accordance to the rule book.

“It’s been polarized and in some ways politicized,” US captain Jim Courier told The Associated Press on Thursday. “But we have no doubt that Carlos was just enforcing the rules as he sees them.”

This weekend the USA travel to Zadar to play Croatia in the semi-finals of the Davis Cup. The tie will be officiated by Ramos. The consensus around the American camp is that they do not believe sexism was a factor in the women’s final. Pointing out Ramos’ extensive experience in the sport.

“It’s hard to say one side or the other without causing a big stir,” Ryan Harrison commented about the debate. “In a situation where we know Serena is unbelievable; she’s iconic; and we know that Carlos is there because he’s worthy of being there for those matches.
“I know Carlos and I know he’s not looking to put himself in a difficult position. I truly believe he was trying to do what he felt like was right at the time and always in heated situations it’s going to be a very sticky, sticky spot whenever it’s in a Grand Slam final like that.”

‘The reaction was pretty overboard’

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At other Davis Cup ties, similar opinions have been voiced. In Glasgow, Great Britain will play Uzbekistan in the world group playoffs. A clash that will be missing both Andy Murray and Kyle Edmund. Doubles specialist Jamie Murray will be playing. Asked about his opinion on Williams, Jamie believes the claim that men and women are treated differently is ‘a bit far fetch.’

“I think the umpire did what was within his rights.” He said during an interview with BBC Sport.
“Coaching is common, a lot of people are doing it, some people aren’t getting called for it. To get called in a Grand Slam final was perhaps a bit tight, but I think the reaction was pretty overboard.
“I’ve seen a lot of people get called for coaching before, and you might have a grumble and stuff, but you get on with it.”

In South America, where Argentina will lock horns with Colombia, Diego Schwartzman was another to play down the hype. Speaking about his own experience of playing matches under Ramos’ watchful eye.

“Sometimes, as a sportsman you lose your temper on the court and it does not mean that it was the real feeling, it happens to everybody many times, but the next day you have to apologize and realize that you made a mistake.” Schwartzman told La Nacion.
“It seems to me that Ramos acted well, it had nothing to do with Serena (personally). Her coach acknowledged that he coached her, (she) broke a racket and insulted him. Rules are clear.
“I understand Serena when she says that perhaps they (the rules) are not enforced (applied) with some players.”

Williams has not spoken in public since her Saturday night press conference in New York. Meanwhile, the first day of the Davis Cup will get underway on Friday.

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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