Spain To Continue Hosting Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup Finals in 2024 - UBITENNIS
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Spain To Continue Hosting Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup Finals in 2024

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Photo by Marta Magni

The International Tennis Federation confirmed on Sunday that the host cities of their premier team events will remain unchanged for another year.

During a draw ceremony for the 2024 Davis Cup, it was announced that Malaga will once again hold the eight-team finale at the end of next season. Making it the fifth time in a row that the event has been held on Spanish soil since the competition underwent a revamp following an ITF AGM vote. It would have been six but the 2020 edition had to be axed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“We have just successfully finished a Final 8 in Malaga and we are already thinking about next year. I thank the International Tennis Federation for trusting us this event,” The Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sports of the Government of Andalusia, Arturo Bernal, said in a statement.
“It is not easy to organize the Final 8 of this competition in Andalusia for the third consecutive year, but this news shows that we are on the right track and that the Junta de Andalucía (name of regional government) is committed to bringing the best sporting events to Andalusia, which is why it can become the home of Spanish sport.”

The decision comes at the end of what has been a largely successful event in the Spanish city which has attracted thousands of fans in attendance. The venue of the competition, Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena, was near capacity during Italy’s 2-1 win over Serbia in the semi-finals on Saturday when Jannik Sinner stunned Novak Djokovic in three sets. 

In a second boost for the Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET), it has also been revealed that Seville will continue hosting the Billie Jean King Cup in 2024. It was previously held in Glasgow, Scotland last year and in Prague, Czech Republic the year before that. 

“We’re excited to bring the women’s World Cup of Tennis back to Seville and thanks to our work with ITF member the Real Federacion Espanola de Tenis (RFET), and to our partners the Region of Andalucia who share our vision for the growth of women’s sport, we can now focus on delivering another spectacular Finals for the fans in 2024.” ITF president David Haggerty said in a statement. 

Some critics will question the move to continue hosting both events in Spain instead of moving them elsewhere. Since their format has been changed, the finales are yet to take place outside of Europe. 

The draws for the 2024 tournaments 

Davis Cup

The format of the Davis Cup features teams playing a series of qualifying ties with the winners of those progressing to the finals which will feature 16 teams, including four wildcards. Those 16 teams will then be split down into four groups which will each be held at various locations that are yet to be announced. The top two of each group will then progress to the knockout event in Malaga. 

Next year Great Britain, Spain, Australia and Italy will receive wildcards into the finals. They will be joined by 12 winners of the following ties that will be held in February. 

  • Canada v Korea Republic
  • Serbia v Slovakia
  • Croatia v Belgium
  • Hungary v Germany
  • Netherlands v Switzerland
  • Czech Republic v Israel
  • Ukraine* v United States
  • Finland v Portugal
  • Chinese Taipei v France
  • Argentina v Kazakhstan
  • Sweden v Brazil
  • Chile v Peru

*Davis Cup organizers will agree on a venue with Ukraine for their tie due to the ongoing war with Russia.

Billie Jean King Cup

The format is similar to the Davis Cup but the winners of the eight qualifying ties will join four wildcards to play in the Finals which begins with the group stages and then the knockout rounds within the same week.

Spain, Canada, Czechia, and Italy have all been given wildcards. They will be joined in Saville by the winners of the following ties. 

  • Australia (1) (c) * v Mexico 
  • Switzerland (2) (c) v Poland 
  • France (3) (c) v Great Britain 
  • USA (4) (c) v Belgium 
  • Japan (c) * v Kazakhstan (5) 
  • Brazil (c) v Germany (6) 
  • Slovakia (7) (c) * v Slovenia 
  • Ukraine (c) * v Romania (8)

(#) = seed; (c) = choice of ground; * = choice of ground decided by lot  

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Daria Kasatkina And Alejandro Davidovich Fokina Lead Calls For VAR In Tennis

There have been calls for VAR to be introduced into the sport.

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Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina have called for VAR to be implemented in tennis.

The calls have came after Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik in Dubai.

As Bublik lead 6-5 in the final set, Rublev shouted in the face of an umpire allegedly swearing in Russian which was picked up by one of the officials.

This saw Rublev be disqualified from the event with Bublik reaching the final in Dubai.

However as a result of the incident players have called for a VAR review system with the video showing inconclusive proof of whether Rublev did swear in Russian.

Leading the calls for such innovation are Daria Kasatkina and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina as the duo called for VAR to be introduced on twitter, “So you can just disqualify a player, take away all his points and money, without even checking the video? What a joke, yet another confirmation that we need VAR in tennis and an electronic appeal system in all tournaments,” Kasatkina said on social media.

VAR has been implemented in football and also a similar system in rugby with mixed results.

It’s clear though that more technology would help umpires identify whether a grounds for disqualification would be necessary.

So far VAR has been trialled at the Next Gen Finals and the Nitto ATP Finals.

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Casper Ruud Overcomes ‘Tough Start’ To Set De Minaur Final In Acapulco

Casper Ruud is into his first ATP 500 final after defeating Holger Rune in three sets.

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Casper Ruud is into his second consecutive final in Mexico after defeating Holger Rune 3-6 6-3 6-4 in Acapulco.

The Norwegian had to overcome an electric start from Rune to prevail in 2 hours and 24 minutes.

It was a clinical performance from Ruud who is now into his second consecutive final in Mexico after reaching the final in Los Cabos last week.

Speaking after the match Ruud admitted it was a tough start but he’s pleased to be in another final, “It was a tough start,” Ruud told the ATP website.

“Holger just came out firing bullets from the forehand, from the backhand and I had not too much time to play my game. I was frustrated at times, especially at the end of the first set, beginning of the second.

“I didn’t really feel like I got to play any points how I wanted to, so there was some frustration towards myself, towards my box, because I didn’t feel like we were doing the right thing.

“But luckily with one break in the second, it turned around a bit and in the third set it got a little physical. I think maybe Holger seemed like he was struggling a little bit and started firing even more and a couple of games it went in and he broke me, which is frustrating.

“Some unforced errors crept up on him and I served really well in the last game to close it out.”

Ruud is now into his first ATP 500 final in Acapulco where he will face defending champion Alex De Minaur.

De Minaur overcame Jack Draper after the Brit retired at 4-0 down in the deciding set.

Heading into Saturday’s final, De Minaur leads the head-to-head 1-0 although that was in a completely different scoring format in the Next Gen Finals.

Whatever happens on Saturday, Ruud will return to the world’s top ten.

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Andrey Rublev Disqualified In Dramatic Dubai Semi-Final

Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final in Dubai.

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Andrey Rublev was disqualified from his semi-final with Alexander Bublik after being accused of swearing in Russian.

The event took place in Dubai where Rublev had more than enough opportunities to win the match having been 4-2 40-0 up in the deciding set.

However Bublik came back into the match as he caught up with Rublev in what was turning into a fascinating contest.

The score was at 6-5 Bublik when Rublev’s frustrations boiled over when he allegedly told the official at the side of the court that he was a ‘f****** moron’ in Russian.

One of the officials on the sidelines at the side of the court reported the incident and the supervisor ruled that Rublev should be defaulted.

The incident below means that Rublev will now lose all his ranking points and prize money, resulting in Rublev exiting the world’s top five.

An ending that didn’t warrant the dramatic contest and after the match Bublik agreed that the consequences, “I highly doubt Andrey said something crazy,” Bublik was quoted by Sports Illustrated.

“He’s not this kind of guy. But I guess that’s the rules. That’s what they did, they just follow the procedure.”

Bublik will hope for a smoother finish to the final when he takes on Ugo Humbert for the title.

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