Groth: Roland Garros aims to kill Laver Cup

    By Richard Pagliaro | Monday 23 March 2020

    Sam Groth

    Sam Groth says that FFT is more than happy to try out the Laver Cup before it gets too big.

    Photo source: TA

    Sam Groth states that Roland Garros’ reprogramming is not just about self-preservation.

    It is a successful job.

    The reprogramming of Roland Garros is a direct effort to “kill the Laver Cup,” says former Australian Davis Cup player.

    The French Tennis Federation has stunned the world of tennis by announcing its unilateral decision to move the French Open from May to September 20, the week after the end of the US Open. The decision was announced before ATP and WTA jointly canceled the spring season due to the coronavirus crisis.

    That program shift places the first Grand Slam weekend on the clay court in direct competition with the Laver Cup, scheduled for September 25-27 at the TD Garden in Boston. []

    Groth instructs FFT and ITF to join forces to shoot the popular Laver Cup, which has exhausted three different cities – Prague, Chicago and Geneva – in the past three years. The Australian tennis analyst suggests that FFT and ITF are cutting back against the Laver Cup, which they consider a threat to the ITF Davis Cup finals, which will be held in Madrid in November.

    “The other thing that has escaped us a little in this is FFT, they are very much in league with the ITF and have been a big supporter of the new Davis Cup,” Groth told Channel 9 of Australia.

    “What they did and did is that they put themselves in a week that coincides with the Laver Cup, which people see as a bit of a threat – along with the ATP Cup – for this new Davis Cup.

    “They went and pulled back, put themselves in a situation where they are trying – I think – to kill the Laver Cup before it starts to get as big as a Ryder Cup, for example.”

    The US Open has announced that it is reviewing all options, including possibly moving the start of August time to a later date.

    Laver Cup, which belongs to Roger Federer’s Team8 Management and counts Tennis Australia and USTA among its partners, has announced that it has no intention of changing places in the September program.

    Groth says that Roland Garros’ scheduling shift puts players in an impossible situation – and predicts that the calendar conflict could ultimately be decided in court.

    “They are looking at that type of tennis player and if you go and make players decide between playing this event (Laver Cup) or playing at the French Open, it will be a decision for players to make,” said Groth “I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw this end up in court at some point, because a lot of sponsors and a lot of money [is] involved.

    “It (Laver Cup) is expected to be in Boston this year. This will be interesting, there is still a lot to play.”


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