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Davis Cup Final To Take Place Under A Cloud Of Anger And Frustration

The final of the 118-year-old competition marks the end of an era.

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The upcoming Davis Cup final will be an historic event in the competition’s history for a reason that has divided that sport in recent months.

 

Reigning champions France will take on Croatia in Lille at the Stade Pierre-Mauro. Captained by Yannick Noah, France are bidding to win back-to-back titles for the first time since 1932 during the era of the ‘four musketeers.’ A quartet of players from the country who won 20 singles and 23 doubles grand slam titles during the 1920s and 1930s. In contrast, Croatia is bidding to win the event for only the second time and the first since 2005.

Regardless of the outcome, both countries will be embedded in Davis Cup history with 2018 being the final year the current format takes place. Next year will see the event transformed into a weeklong final that will feature 18 teams in one location. Removing the 118-year tradition of home and away finals. The plan has come to life with the help of a $3 billion investment from Kosmos Tennis with the International Tennis Federation claiming that national associations will receive more money under the new format. Although that promise has failed to silence its critics.

“I will not be competing in the next Davis Cup, that’s for sure. I do not like it at all, it’s a total draw, I will not play in Madrid in November 2019.” Lucas Pouille told local radio earlier this week, according to welovetennis.fr.

Few will deny that the Davis Cup has been in need of a change for a long time, but many believe this is too radical. On the eve on the this year’s final, Noah launched a fresh attack on the governing bodies of tennis. Accusing them of prioritising money over everything else.

“This event was the event of the people, where you could come to Lille, where they never had tennis.” Noah said during an interview with HRT Sport. “This is an opportunity to bring tennis to places where they don’t have the opportunity and this (the Davis Cup) was the only event that did that.”
“The people who decided for me (to change the format), decided in their high offices, making more money, but it is not the same event. I really hope they have the decency to not call this Davis Cup.“

The future

Kosmos, which was founded by footballer Gerard Pique, has repeatedly hit back at criticism of their new event. Critics say that it is the beginning of the end of the competition with the resurrection of the World Team Cup posing a major threat. An ATP team event that will take place at the start of each year in Australia from 2020. Unlike the Davis Cup, the ATP can offer ranking points alongside its prize pool of $15 million.

There are also unanswered questions about if the big players of the sport will feature in November’s final. Alexander Zverev has ruled himself out of competing due to its ‘crazy scheduling,’ but has said he will place in the February ties. Meanwhile Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer remain 50/50 about their future involvement.

“I think it’s not sustainable. It will happen that we will have two average events. So I think creating one event is an ideal scenario and I think outcome for everyone,” Djokovic commented about the two team competitions.
“From what I’ve heard from conversations with people from all of the sides, different sides in this sport, they all want to have one event because it’s over-saturated with different cups, different events.
“We have to try to focus on quality rather than quantity.”

Fortunately the Davis Cup has a lifeline thanks to the Olympic qualification criteria. Players have to play a certain amount of ties in the event in order to be considered for selection to play at the Olympic Games, which will next take place in 2020.

It is unknown as to what will happen in the future. Will the Davis Cup survive? Will it merge with the ATP? It is these uncertainties that continue to mar the competition.

The Davis Cup isn’t dead, but its survival isn’t looking too promising at the moment. Which is why the showdown between France and Croatia this weekend will be special.

Davis Cup

PREVIEW: Vasek Pospisil Looking To Lead Canada At Davis Cup Finals

The Canadian will look to lead his team one step further after reaching the final in Madrid back in 2019.

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MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 23: Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2021 at Madrid Arena on November 23, 2021 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Manuel Queimadelos / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

It’s not an ideal situation when two of your best players decide not to play and represent their country but that is what has happened to Canada with both Felix Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov.

 

Both players citing the need for rest after a long and taxing season that literally gives them less than two months to rest and recuperate before the off-season preparations and a trip down under for the Australian tennis season.

Pospisil leads a team with Brayden Schnur, Peter Polansky and replacement Steven Diez. While on paper all players are ranked outside the top 100 Canada still has good chances of getting past the group stage.

In their way are Sweden and Kazakhstan. They will open their tournament on Thursday in Madrid against the Swedes before facing the Kazaks on Sunday morning at the Madrid Arena.

Once again two wins will be needed and it will be a busy week for Pospisil who will be called upon to play singles and doubles, which has been confirmed by team captain Frank Dancevic.

The million-dollar question is who will be Canada’s number two singles player and who will play with the Vernon, BC native? Dancevic is yet to confirm this.

Schnur was an alternate player on the team last time, Polansky wasn’t even called upon and it’s been 10 years since Diez even represented his country so the experience isn’t there.

But then again anything can happen in Davis Cup and looking at the other teams Sweden will use Elias and Mikael Ymer while Kazakhstan will rely on the highest-ranked player in the group Alexander Bublik with teammate Mikhael Kukushin.

It’s all to play for in the Spanish capital and Canada is coming off an incredible run in 2019 which ended up in them losing to Spain in the final where they were able to show the world they are here to play.

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Davis Cup

Canada suffers massive blow as Shapovalov, Auger-Aliassime pull out of Davis Cup

The two tennis stars cited fatigue and injury as the reason why they have chosen not to play in the team event.

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Denis Shapovalov (CAN) - Credit: AELTC/Edward Whitaker

Canada will be without its top two players as they head to Madrid for the Davis Cup Finals.

 

After losing in the Stockholm Open final at the weekend, Denis Shapovalov made it official that he was pulling out of the Davis Cup Finals citing he needed to rest and take time off.

“Unfortunately, I will not take part in the Davis Cup Finals,” Shapovalov said in a statement. “It’s always a pleasure and an honor for me to represent my country in the Davis Cup, but I need some rest in the offseason.”

Shortly after Felix Auger Aliassime also released a statement confirming that he was pulling out as well due to a nagging injury and also stated he needed some time off as well.

So far Canada has only called up Steven Diez as a replacement for the team that currently has Vasek Pospisil, Peter Polansky, and Brayden Schnur. It is a massive blow for a team that looked like a heavy favorite.

Team captain Frank Dancevic also commentated on the situation by saying he understands why both players have decided not to play.

“We know that Félix and Denis have always made the Davis Cup one of their top priorities since the beginning of their professional careers, and even before that since they had won the Junior Davis Cup for Canada in 2015,” said Dancevic. “But it’s been a long and even more trying season due to the protocols and measures put in place to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and we completely understand their decision.’
We know that we can count on Félix and Denis’ support and leadership in the years to come. That said, we are delighted to have Steven (Diez) join us for the Finals. Although Steven doesn’t have much Davis Cup experience, he has proven time and time again that he’s an incredible team player and that he’s able to adapt to various situations.”

Diez, who is 30 years old, has only played Davis Cup once before which was 11 years ago back in 2010 in a Group 1 semi-final tie against Columbia. His career-high ranking was 134 in 2019 and his best result was making the final of an ATP Challenger event in Spain.

The Davis Cup Finals will be held in Madrid, Innsbruck, and Turin beginning on the 25th of November. Canada will be based in Madrid in a group with Sweden and Kazakhstan.

Canada faces Sweden on the 25th and Kazakhstan on the 28th of November. The last time around made the final back in 2019 before losing to Spain.

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Novak Djokovic Leads Quartet Of To 10 Players Set To Play Davis Cup Finals

Here is a full list of players who have been nominated to play in the team event next month.

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Novak Djokovic returns a shot during a Men's Singles quarterfinal match at the 2021 US Open, Wednesday, Sep. 8, 2021 in Flushing, NY. (Jed Jacobsohn/USTA)

World No.1 Novak Djokovic will lead Serbia in the Davis Cup Finals once again after getting officially nominated for the event on Monday.

 

The 20-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a competitive match since losing in the final of the US Open but had previously expressed his desire to play in the team event. Djokovic will be the only top 20 player participating in Group F with both Austria and Germany missing their top players. Dominic Thiem is still recovering from injury and Alexander Zverev has said he would not play in protest of the changes made to the Davis Cup in recent years.

Djokovic, who has won three out of the four major events this season, is expected to play in both the Paris Masters and ATP Finals prior to the Davis Cup. He was instrumental in guiding his country to glory in the team competition back in 2010 which was the first and only time they have won the title.

Russia boasts a strong team with both US Open champion Daniil Medvedev and world No.6 Andrey Rublev getting the nod. Making them the only team in the event to feature two top 10 players. Unlike other countries, they will be called the Russian Tennis Federation (RTF) in the tournament. This is due to a previous WADA and CAS ruling against the Russian Anti-Doping Agency over the country’s involvement in state-sponsored doping during multiple Olympic Games.

Italy, who hasn’t won the Davis Cup since 1976, will be headlined by Wimbledon runner-up Matteo Berrettini. Joining him in the team will be Jannik Sinner, Lorenzo Sonego, Fabio Fognini and Lorenzo Musetti. The Italians have the advantage of playing their group ties on home ground in Turin which is the same city which will hold the ATP Finals. They will take on America and Colombia.

It is possible that some nominations for the Davis Cup could change in the coming weeks. French captain Sebastien Grosjean told reporters that it is possible he may include Gael Monfils in the team should he produce some good results on the Tour. Meanwhile, Andy Murray isn’t ruling out taking part.

“Never say never, maybe I could be convinced to play,” The Times newspaper quoted Murray as saying on Monday.

The Davis Cup Finals will take place between November 25 – December 5th. The group and quarter-finals ties will be held across Europe in Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck. Then the semi-finals and final will be held in Madrid. Each Group tie will consist of three matches – two singles and one doubles.

Tournament schedule

source – www.daviscupfinals.com

List of team nominations

Group A – Madrid, Spain

Spain
Pablo Carreno Busta
Roberto Bautista Agut
Carlos Alcaraz
Feliciano Lopez
Marcel Granollers
Captain: Sergi Bruguera

RTF
Daniil Medvedev
Andrey Rublev
Aslan Karatsev
Karen Khachanov
Evgeny Donskoy
Captain: Shamil Tarpischev

Ecuador
Emilio Gomez
Roberto Quiroz
Diego Hidalgo
Gonzalo Escobar
Cayetano March
Captain: Raul Viver

Group B – Madrid, Spain

Canada
Felix Auger-Aliassime
Denis Shapovalov
Vasek Pospisil
Brayden Schnur
Peter Polansky
Captain: Frank Dancevic

Kazakhstan
Alexander Bublik
Mikhail Kukushkin
Dmitry Popko
Aleksandr Nedovyesov
Andrey Golubev
Captain: Yuriy Schukin

Sweden
Mikael Ymer
Elias Ymer
Jonathan Mridha
Andre Goransson
Captain: Robin Soderling

Group C – Innsbruck, Austria

France
Ugo Humbert
Arthur Rinderknech
Richard Gasquet
Pierre-Hugues Herbert
Nicolas Mahut
Captain: Sebastien Grosjean

Great Britain
Cameron Norrie
Daniel Evans
Joe Salisbury
Neal Skupski
Captain: Leon Smith

Czech Republic
Jiri Vesely
Tomas Machac
Zdenek Kolar
Jiri Lehecka
Lukas Rosol
Captain: Jaroslav Navratil

Group D – Turin, Italy

Croatia
Marin Cilic
Borna Coric
Borna Gojo
Nikola Mektic
Mate Pavic
Captain: Vedran Martic

Australia
Alex de Minaur
John Millman
Jordan Thompson
Alexei Popyrin
John Peers
Captain: Lleyton Hewitt

Hungary
Marton Fucsovics
Attila Balazs
Zsombor Marozsan
Mate Valkusz
Captain: Gabor Koves

Group E – Turin, Italy

USA
John Isner
Reilly Opelka
Taylor Fritz
Jack Sock
Rajeev Ram
Captain: Mardy Fish

Italy
Matteo Berrettini
Jannik Sinner
Lorenzo Sonego
Fabio Fognini
Lorenzo Musetti
Captain: Filippo Volandri

Colombia
Daniel Galan
Nicolas Mejia
Juan Sebastian Cabal
Robert Farah
Captain: Alejandro Falla

Group F – Innsbruck, Austria

Serbia
Novak Djokovic
Filip Krajinovic
Dusan Lajovic
Laslo Djere
Miomir Kecmanovic
Captain: Viktor Troicki

Germany
Jan Lennard Struff
Dominik Koepfer
Peter Gojowczyk
Kevin Krawietz
Tim Puetz
Captain: Michael Kohlmann

Austria
Dennis Novak
Jurij Rodionov
Gerald Melzer
Oliver Marach
Philipp Oswald
Captain: Stefan Koube

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