Alexander Zverev To Skip Davis Cup And Warns Other Players Could Do The Same - UBITENNIS
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Davis Cup

Alexander Zverev To Skip Davis Cup And Warns Other Players Could Do The Same

It has been revealed that at least two other high-profile players are yet to commit to the team tournament following its revamp.

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German world No.5 Alexander Zverev has confirmed that he will skip the Davis Cup finals next year due to the ‘crazy’ scheduling of the event.

 

The historic men’s tournament is set to go through the biggest change in its history. In 2019 a 18-team tournament will be played at the end of November with a similar structure to that of the World Cup. The finals will consist of 12 qualified teams, the four semi-finalists from the previous year and two wild cards. Investment firm Kosmos, which is owned by Gerard Pique, has pledged to invest $3 billion over 25 years.

Despite the new format being approved at the International Tennis Federation’s annual AGM meeting, there are critics. Countries such as Australia are unhappy about the decision to play the finals at a neutral venue. Taking away home and away ties. There are also questions about how Kosmos and the ITF will guarantee their investment over the coming years.

The biggest issue the tournament is facing concerns the scheduling. It will get underway at the end of November after the ATP World Tour finals. Cutting into what is already a short off-season break for players. Speaking about the event, 21-year-old Zverev has criticised the timing. Stating that he will not be playing.

“Because in November I do not want to play tennis anymore. I think all the top guys will say the same thing.” Zverev told reporters in Shanghai on Wednesday.
“We have one-and-a-half months off in our season, and that’s the end of November and December. Making a tournament at the end of November, which is ten days long and playing and competing, it’s crazy. I mean, by the end of the year, we are all tired.”

Zverev isn’t the only player to have reservations. The Times Newspaper has reported that both Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic are yet to commit to the event. It is understood that Serbia and Switzerland was initially on course to receive wildcards for next year’s final. However, the plan failed after both players didn’t give a definite answer about if they would play. Instead Great Britain and Argentina received the wildcards.

“I mean, for us as top players we had discussions, we had talks with ATP how to make the season shorter and not longer. No, it’s not happening, and I guarantee you I will not be the only one.” Zverev commented about playing in the Davis Cup.

The ITF has previously said that holding a week-long Davis Cup competition would help attract top players as they reduce the number of ties played throughout the year. Although this argument is under scrutiny after the ITF confirmed that they want to implement two new exhibition events during the year. A winner-takes-all event and a mixed team competition. Meaning that players who participate will be no better off with their scheduling.

As well as the Davis Cup, at the start of 2020 the ATP is planning to bring back the World Team Cup. Meaning that there will be less than two months separating the two events. The tournament will take place across Australian with prize money and ranking points up for grabs.

The 2019 Davis Cup finals will be hosted in Madrid at the Caja Magica. It will take place from November 18-24.

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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