The former ITF executive director for development has vowed to challenge David Haggerty in a leadership contest next year.
Dave Miley, who worked for the governing body of tennis for 25 years before resigning in 2015, has confirmed that he will launch a bid for presidency after winning support from ‘member nations.’ Miley is a two-time Irish men’s doubles champion. He has previously been in charge of overseeing the juniors, veterans and wheelchair activities of the ITF. In 2016 he applied for the position of chief executive for Tennis Ireland, but missed out. However, Miley later received €6,500 in damages after the Workplace Relations Committee (WRC) found that he has been unfairly discriminated against due to his age.
“Following significant encouragement and support from ITF member nations, I have informed the current ITF President and Board of my plans to run for President of the ITF at the next AGM,” said Miley in an email send to The Irish Times.
It is understood that Miley has won the support of nations in both Europe and Asia following his time spent there working as a consultant.
In recent months current ITF head Haggerty has come under increasing criticism concerning the changes being made to the Davis Cup. Earlier this year plans to turn the final of the competition into a 18-team week-long event were given the green light. Dividing opinion in the sport. At this year’s Davis Cup final between France and Croatia, Haggerty was heckled at by opponents of those changes.
Despite his critics, Haggerty told reporters that he has ‘no regrets’ about the plans. Insisting that the move wasn’t motivated solely by money. Investment company Kosmos has pledged to invest $3 billion into the Davis Cup over the next 25 years into the new format.
“I get energy from something I believe in. The reforms from Davis Cup were needed and the Fed Cup will follow just behind it, from my perspective, I believe we are doing the right thing.” Said Haggerty.
“The ITF has never just looked at things on money alone. To us we are the governing body of the sport, so we want to grow participation and interest in the sport.“
Miley has given little sympathy to the attempts of the American chief. Saying that he has been ‘surprised and saddened’ by the direction of the ITF and their ‘deteriorating relationship’ with some member nations. Although he didn’t name who those nations were.
“Since I resigned from the ITF in 2015, I have followed closely the direction of the ITF and have been both surprised and saddened by the current challenges facing the organisation, especially as they relate to Davis Cup, as well as the ITF’s deteriorating relationships with many important tennis constituents,” he said.
“For 25 years, I worked for the ITF and for 17 years I acted as director of development, leading the ITF’s largest department. I care deeply about the organisation and believe that my extensive knowledge of the ITF and success in international tennis to date, combined with a successful business background, qualifies me to seek this position and, if elected, deliver strong leadership and vision for the future.”
The ITF leadership contest will be held in September 2019 at the annual AGM meeting. Haggerty has held the position since 2015.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Spain to face Russia and Ecuador in Davis Cup Finals next November
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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