REPORT: Goran Ivanisevic In Contention For Davis Cup Captaincy - UBITENNIS
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REPORT: Goran Ivanisevic In Contention For Davis Cup Captaincy

Will the coach of Novak Djokovic take on another role in 2020?

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Former Wimbledon champion Goran Ivanisevic is a serious candidate to fill the vacant position of captain of the Croatian Davis Cup team, according to local media.

 

A week before the start of the Davis Cup finals, the Croatian Tennis Federation announced the unexpected departure of former captain Zeljko Krajan. An announcement that drew two different accounts regarding what happened. A statement said the decision was made on a ‘mutual basis,’ however, Krajan disputed this. Saying that he was ready to attend the finals in Madrid and there was a dispute between the two.

Filling in for him was world No.35 doubles player Franko Skugor, who took the role on a temporary basis. Unfortunately Croatia failed to leave a mark on the 18-team event after finishing bottom in their group and losing all six of the matches they played. Becoming the only team to do so. Borna Coric was the only member to win a set, which was against Karen Khachanov.

Following their Davis Cup woes, officials are contemplating who should take over the captaincy with the rumoured frontrunner being Ivanisevic. Who still holds the most doubles wins (13) for his country in the tournament along with Ivan Ljubicic. The 48-year-old is yet to comment on the matter, but has received backing from Cilic.

“I have no problem on that side. It would be my favourite if he took it because it belongs to him. It would be nice for him and a positive for all of us,’ Cilic told Sportsket.net.

Although there is a complication to any potential appointment of the former top 10 player. Ivanisevic is currently a coach to Novak Djokovic and has been working with him since the start of this year’s Wimbledon Championships. Should he take on the role, it is unclear if there will be any effect on his work with the 16-time grand slam champion.

“Of course it is nice to hear such information. Everything should be seen, but I do not mind, and it is quite natural for Goran to be the coach of Croatia. Honestly, this is the first time I have heard about this opportunity, but Goran has my support,” Djokovic told reporters in Madrid earlier this week.

Croatia will take on either India or Pakistan in the qualification round for the 2020 Davis Cup in March.

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Davis Cup

Canada Says There Are No Clear Favorite To Win Davis Cup After Reaching Final Four 

After suffering a surprise opening defeat, Canada managed to find their footing to keep its chance of winning their first Davis Cup title alive in Malaga. 

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Image via Kosmos media

This year’s Davis Cup champions will be decided with the help of a ‘little bit of luck and execution,’ according to the captain of the Canadian team. 

 

Canada secured their place in the semi-finals on Thursday by edging their way past Germany 2-1 after battling back from behind. The tie began with a shock loss for Denis Shapovalov who fell 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(2), to Jan-Lennard Struff who is currently ranked more than 100 places lower than him in the ATP rankings. However, the North American nation managed to level the tie with the help of Felix Auger-Aliassime who beat Oscar Otte 7-6(1), 6-4. 

With all to play for, the tie was decided by a critical doubles match that saw Shapovalov return to the court alongside Vasek Pospisil. Their opponents were the formidable Kevin Krawietz and Tim Puertz who had an 8-0 record in Davis Cup matches when playing together and had clinched the winning point for their team on seven occasions. The German duo started the stronger before Shapovalov and Pospisil battled back to prevail 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. Sending Canada into the semi-finals of the Davis Cup for the first time since 2019. 

“Today (Thursday) was a perfect example of Davis Cup at its finest,” said Canadian captain Frank Dancevic. 
“It was amazing to watch. They showed so much heart going into the match. At the beginning of the match, it was tough to find the rhythm. But once they found the rhythm and once they got in the groove, they played lights out. They played amazing. Took control of the match.” He added.

Canada made their Davis Cup debut in 1913 but they are yet to win the title, finishing runners-up on two occasions. The last time they reached the final was three years ago when they were beaten by Spain in Madrid. 

Standing in their way of another place in the final this year is Italy who defeated the USA 2-1 in their quarter-final tie on Thursday. The other section of the draw will see Croatia take on Australia. Canada might be the only team in the quartet yet to win the trophy but Dencevic believes there is no clear favourite in this year’s tournament. 

“I don’t think right now everybody is playing incredible tennis, and there is so much that can happen in three matches with singles and doubles and there is so much diversity that I wouldn’t say there is a favourite team right now.” He said. 
“Out of the four teams, everybody is really good. We have to put ourselves in the position to win. Everybody’s going to be in the position to win. It’s just about who is going to execute at certain moments in the matches, and it will come down to a little bit of luck and a little bit of execution, but I think it’s very even throughout the field. We are all amazing teams going into the semis.”

Canada’s Semi-final clash with Italy will take place on Saturday. Croatia will play Australia later today. 

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ATP

Davis Cup Becomes Part Of ATP Calendar In New Partnership

The ATP and Kosmos have collaborated over the Davis Cup ensuring it’s place on the ATP calendar.

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In Tennis First, ATP Joins Kosmos And ITF To Form Strategic Alliance Supporting Davis Cup.

 

The 122-year-old Davis Cup will officially become part of the ATP calendar from 2023 following a historic agreement between two of the sports principle bodies.

The International Tennis Federation, who are the principal organizers of the team event, has reached an agreement with the competitions financial backers Kosmos and the ATP Tour to form a strategic alliance. The aim of the new partnership is to focus on the governance and the evolution of what is the oldest team competition of the sport.

Under the agreement, the ATP will occupy two out of the six seats of the newly formed Davis Cup events committee which also includes Kosmos, ITF, long term investors and promoters. In a press release issued on Monday, organizers say their collaboration is aimed to ‘maximize the success of the historic team competition as the men’s World Cup of Tennis.’

The Davis Cup will become officially part of the ATP Tour calendar from 2023. It will take place during weeks 5, 37 and 47. Similar to an agreement made with the Laver Cup a couple of years ago, there will be an increase in marketing the event among ATP channels.

The announcement also ensures that they are committed to giving players prize money for the finals, offering 15 million dollars to players competing in the Davis Cup Finals.

Speaking in the announcement ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi, ITF president David Haggerty and Kosmos Tennis CEO all were excited about this new collaboration:

“Our focus is always on creating the best possible experiences for our fans and players. Delivering compelling international team competitions that dovetail with the year-round calendar and continue to innovate is a vital part of that,” Gaudenzi said.

“This announcement heralds an important new alliance between the ITF, Kosmos and ATP which further strengthens the importance of team competition and Davis Cup’s unique role in elite men’s professional tennis,” Haggerty added.

“It is a very important agreement for all three parties and especially for the players. In the last three years, the format of the competition has been improved to reach a greater number of fans, generate a greater impact and facilitate the participation of the best players in the world. We look forward to seeing the event grow even further in the coming years,” Rojas commented.

The Davis Cup recorded it’s highest levels of participation in history last year with 137 teams competing in the competition.

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Davis Cup

British No.2 Dan Evans Threatening To Quit Davis Cup Over Doubles Snub

The tennis star says he feels ‘insulated’ that he has never been chosen to play doubles.

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INNSBRUCK, AUSTRIA - NOVEMBER 30: Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals 2021 at OlympiaWorld on November 30, 2021 in Innsbruck, Austria. (Photo by Pedro Salado / Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

Dan Evans has described his constant omission from playing doubles in the Davis Cup as ‘f***ing annoying’ and is contemplating no longer playing in the team competition. 

 

Evans, who is Britain’s second highest-ranked player after Cameron Norrie, has played 30 matches in the Davis Cup between 2009-2022 but all of these have been in singles. During this year’s competition in Glasgow, team captain Leon Smith selected Andy Murray and Joe Salisbury to play two matches which they lost in three sets. The other team selected was Salisbury and Neal Skupski who won.

However, 32-year-old Evans believes he should be given a chance based on his credentials. Whilst mainly a singles player, he has also reached the final of three Masters 1000 doubles tournaments since April 2021.  

“It’s f**king annoying. It’s disappointing. To be frank, it’s a bit insulting also that I haven’t been picked ever to play the Davis Cup [in doubles],” Evans said during an interview with The i.
“This is meant in the nicest possible way to the doubles guys, there’s nothing against them – but I don’t need to play doubles on the tour to prove how good I am at doubles. When I do, I normally do okay.
“I think we need to look past doubles rankings for a Davis Cup tie and if a game style fits or a game style doesn’t then maybe we should be picking other people.”

Evans has indicated that he is now considering quitting Davis Cup due to the current circumstances in a move that will ring alarm bells for the British Lawn Tennis Association. He cites one example which occurred last year in Innsbruck when he requested to play in the doubles but wasn’t selected to do so. 

“I had the conversation [asking to play] in Austria,” Evans recounted.
“I played with Neal before for a year to try and play Davis Cup, and didn’t get picked. I’m at a loss as to why I’ve never played.
“It’s frustrating as I said, and a bit insulting as well. It’s something I have to think about going forward if I want to put myself in that position again to keep going there and we’re not getting the right results.
“Maybe I should maybe have a conversation and sit down, and if he [Smith] wants to go a different way then it’s entirely up to him. He’s the captain.
“It’s disappointing and mainly it’s for the team. I don’t want to play for myself. I want to play because I think that’s the best for the team.”

Both Salisbury and Skupski are currently ranked in the world’s top five for doubles and have won multiple titles in this discipline this year. Furthermore, Lloyd Glasspool and Jamie Murray are also in the top 50. 

Evans is ranked No.26 in singles and is one of four Brits in the top 50 along with Norrie (No.14), Andy Murray (No.46) and Jack Draper (No.48). 

“The whole thing with Davis Cup is I just want the country to do good. It’s my passion for us as a country to do well,” Evans said.
“It’s not this singles vs doubles thing. I just want the best team on the court and the last few times at times it’s been hard to be sat there on the side thinking ‘I think I’m a better option’ and that’s my opinion, obviously.
“It’s never been offered to me to play and that may be something I’ll regret till the day is done.”

There is yet to be any comment from the British LTA concerning Evans’ comments. The country failed to reach this year’s Davis Cup finals after losing two out of their three group matches against America and the Netherlands in September. 

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