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This has been the fiasco of a forgotten tournament

“No one cares what we do here.” The phrase, as lapidary as it is real, defines davis cup that this whole week has been played in Malaga and that Canada has been the winner. Whoever says this is not just any fan or a critic of Piqué’s projects –the promoter of the changes in this tournament– but Taylor Fritznumber nine in the world ranking.

An American, Fritz has participated in this Davis Cup with his country and has been able to see how the tournament it could not have been sold worse. It has not only been the lack of emotion in this Davis Cup format that radically changed a few years ago, but also the dates on which they are played. The significance has been nil.

Headquarters dizziness

A la Davis, like any other sports tournament that had been played around this time, It has been completely ‘eaten’ by the World Cup. All the focus of fans and the media goes to the Qatar event, something logical due to its importance and the wait that is had in the football tournament.

The dates, also a competition for the ATP, do not help to monitor a Davis Cup that has more problems. For example, the more limited follow-up that this year has been in Málaga, the city that Piqué chose to expand his business. Davis, traditionally one of the most vibrant sports competitions, has now been conceived as a traveling tournament: in recent years it was played in Madrid, but in 2022 there has been a headquarters dizziness: The final is in Malaga, but the phase to qualify was in Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and Valencia.

Gerard Piqué with Joan Laporta, whom he invited to his Davis CupAFP

Davis is no longer what it used to be. Now it is a tournament in which eight countries meet where qualifiers are played that only last one day. In the final phase, with the eight classified teams, The five best tennis players in the world are not there: alcaraz y Nadalfor Spain, were absent due to injury and their own decision. Ruud, the third, is not here because Norway does not play here. The same happens to Tsitsipas with Greece and Novak Djokovic with Serbia. The country of the winner of 21 Grand Slam was left out in a previous phase that was played in Valencia and in which he did not even go.

Without stars it is very difficult for this Davis to have the focus of yesteryear. Complaints have gone not only for the tournament format, totally bland, but also for the track that was chosen, indoorfast track. “I can’t even talk about the speed of the court,” said Fritz, who also complained about the balls. «Against Cilic, indoors, on a hard court, the only thing he had in favor was the public“, he pointed carreno to justify the defeat of Spain against Croatia.

Giving away tickets

Yes, Spain has played this Davis Cup, although it is possible that many sports fans have not even found out. The organization did not come up with a better idea than to put on a Spain match at the Davis Cup in Malaga at the same time that another Spain was playing, that of Luis Enrique, in Qatar. The consequence was the irrelevance of the tennis tournament.

Situations as surreal as Alex de Minaur, with a Spanish mother and Uruguayan father, begging his fans to go to Martín Carpena to see him play with Australia, the country he defends and where he was born. In their social networks gave away tickets to anyone who answered him, thus showing that tickets were left over everywhere.

The last criticism has been that of Lleyton Hewitttennis legend and Australian captain, who complained because the organization (Piqué and company) do not allow the doubles match to be played once the tie has already been decided in the first two individual duels: the players –some play only doubles – have traveled not to play.

Fritz, who is the only one of the top 10 – along with the Canadian Happy Auger-Also– who has played this Davis Cup has expressed it very clearly: «It is always an honor to represent my country, but after a whole year traveling and playing the ATP Finals, it was not easy». With a busy schedule, he spent a whole week in Malaga to play a Davis Cup at the same time that the World Cup began. It is normal that this tournament, which was previously followed internationally, has passed without pain or glory in the sports field.

As if that were not enough, Davis now seems a tournament made for Spain. The headquarters is always in our country and they are given an advantage like the one that has already been made official: Spain will not have to play the previous round in 2023 and will go directly to the group stage, a great advantage over other teams.

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