There is a number of speak as of late about the way forward for the Davis Cup. As it seems, the connection between the ITF, the world affiliation liable for the Davis Cup, and the Cosmos group round former soccer star Gerard Pique has been very unsuccessful.
The partnership was scheduled for 25 years when preliminary negotiations had been held in 2018. The group of traders across the former Barca star has assured round three billion euros. Only three closing tournaments (2x Madrid, 1x Malaga) later it’s clear: The World Association needs to open a brand new starting, introduced the deal and introduced that Cosmos will go to court docket.
It’s a horrible finish to an odd partnership. Cosmos at all times felt that the sport was extra about money than soul. What makes the Davis Cup distinctive is the house-and-away video games — one thing the highest nations did not do after they met in Madrid in 2019 in entrance of partially empty stands. Then there was an try to compromise with intermediate rounds the place no less than one host had dwelling rights, similar to Germany final yr on the Rothenbaum in Hamburg. Four nations had an opportunity to qualify for the quarter-finals in Malaga. The viewers’s curiosity was lower than the excessive ticket costs.
I’m positive a real tennis fan by no means understood the brand new (and outdated as of 2024) design. Remember: the German Tennis Association (DTB) by no means wished this. This is fascinating as a result of DTB president Dietloff von Arnim now needs to run for the ITF presidency and is at present selling his candidacy. His possibilities of being in workplace and talking in reform are usually not dangerous.
What does the longer term appear to be now? Probably is not going to return to the outdated regime. The purpose: Four dates a yr unfold throughout the globe are too many for prime gamers. Davis Cup is being mentioned solely each two years. It could also be clear to all concerned: salt within the soup, dwelling and away video games, should be a part of the longer term recipe. It may very well be a greatest-of-5 match once more.
Tennis star vs. NBA legend
Zverev on the court docket with Nowitzki
For Alexander Zverev, it was the decisive one to return to the Davis Cup within the qualifiers in Rio precisely one yr in the past. I believe he likes taking part in in Germany and feels comfortable within the workforce. If there’s something like calculus in his thoughts about taking part in in Germany, it seems like this: Davis Cup headlines carry extra weight than wins at any ATP match. And: With the 2021 Olympic champion, there may be nothing higher than the Davis Cup stage for his fame, which has lengthy been tarnished.
Zverev, hoping to get well from his damage, will do his greatest to assist Germany win the Davis Cup this yr. The present regime makes it simpler than earlier than. Only two singles and one doubles shall be performed within the intermediate spherical and closing. However: Trier nonetheless has 4 singles (albeit solely two set wins) and one doubles within the qualifier in opposition to Switzerland. Three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka & Co. shall be, within the phrases of captain Michael Kohlmann, “powerful nuts.”
*Andrei Antich is the editor-in-chief tennis journal, this text first appeared there