After Davis Cup Loss, French Players And Their Captain Hit Out At Officials Over Revamp - UBITENNIS
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After Davis Cup Loss, French Players And Their Captain Hit Out At Officials Over Revamp

The fallout has resulted in one of the country’s top players announcing his retirement from the competition at the age of 24.

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The French Davis Cup team has renewed their criticism of the new format of the competition following their loss to Croatia in the final on Sunday.

 

At the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille, Marin Cilic disposed of Lucas Pouille in straight sets on Sunday. Securing Croatia their second title in the history of the team tournament and the first since 2005. This weekend’s clash marked the end of an era for the 118-year-old event. From next year the Davis Cup final will be transformed into a 18-team week-long event held in a neutral location. It is a move that has angered many, including world No.32 Pouille.

“This was my last Davis Cup game, I will not play the one in the new format and I will not change my mind,” the 24-year-old said following his loss to Cilic.

Like many of his teammates, Pouille has been a fierce critic of the revamp. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has argued that the changes were needed in order to help generate more money for tennis federations around the world. The controversial plans have the backing of Kosmos, who has pledged to invest $3 billion over the next 25 years.

Yannick Noah guided the French team during this years final in what was his last tie as captain. The former world No.3 also blasted the ITF over the changes coming to the event in the future. Arguing that those who will keep referring to the event under its current name are ‘liars.’ Noah has guided his country to Davis Cup victory on three occasions in 1991, 1996 and 2017.

“We know it’s not going to be the same,” Noah said during his press conference. “Everybody knows. So why don’t people tell the truth? We will never have that kind of atmosphere in wherever they play it next. It will be something else. I really hope they don’t call the competition the Davis Cup because it will not be the Davis Cup.”
“Playing the best of three sets is not the Davis Cup. Playing at a neutral venue is not Davis Cup. So when people tell us this is the Davis Cup, they are lying. So if I have a voice I am going to tell them you are liars.” He added.

A similar sentiment was echoed by Pierre-Hugues Herbert, who won France’s sole point in the doubles alongside Nicolas Mahut. Describing the occasion as a ‘sad day’ for the event.

“I am extremely sad today about the decisions of the ITF,” said Herbert. “After, it may be a good competition, but it will never be what it has been, the Davis Cup.”

Unlike Pouille, Herbert is keeping coy about his participation in the 2019 finals. He has played eight matches for France, winning seven of them. All of his wins have occurred in the doubles.

“It’s a year from now, so answering this question tonight is difficult, I’m sad, because we have not been able to win, it’s that feeling that’s predominant and I really do not know if I’ll play it or not, I can not say no, I do not, and I’ll make that decision later.” He said.

The Davis Cup first edition of the revamped finals will take place in 2019 during November 18-24 at the Caja Magica in Madrid.

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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Davis Cup

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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Davis Cup

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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