Davis Cup: How an Ex-Barça Star Damaged the Davis Cup – TENNIS

There’s a lot of talk these days about the future of the Davis Cup. As is well known, the liaison between the world association ITF, which is responsible for the Davis Cup, and the Kosmos group around ex-soccer star Gerard Piqué failed terribly.

The partnership was designed for 25 years when the first talks were held in 2018. The group of investors around the former Barça star guaranteed around three billion euros. Only three final tournaments (2x Madrid, 1x Malaga) later it is clear: The world association wants to break new ground, announced the deal and Kosmos announced that it would go to court.

It is the inglorious end of a strange partnership. Kosmos always felt like it was more about the cash than the soul of the game. What makes the Davis Cup unique – home and away games – did not initially exist when the best nations gathered in Madrid in 2019 in front of partially empty ranks. An attempt was then made to find a compromise with intermediate rounds in which at least one host had home rights, such as Germany last year at Rothenbaum in Hamburg. Four nations had the chance to qualify for the quarterfinals in Malaga. The audience interest was – also because of the high ticket prices – meager.

I am firmly convinced that the real tennis fan has never understood the new (and from 2024 old again) construct. As a reminder: The German Tennis Association (DTB) never wanted it. This is interesting because DTB President Dietloff von Arnim now wants to run for ITF President and is currently promoting his candidacy. His chances of being in office – and having a say in a reform – are not bad.

How does the future look now? There will probably not be a return to the old mode. The reason: For the top players, four dates a year spread all over the world are too many. Hosting the Davis Cup only every two years is under discussion. What is probably clear to everyone involved: the salt in the soup, home and away games, should be part of the future recipe. Possibly best-of-five matches again.

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Tennis star versus NBA legend
Zverev with Nowitzki on the court

What: Reuters

For Alexander Zverev, this was decisive for a return to the Davis Cup exactly a year ago at the qualifying round in Rio. I believe that he likes playing for Germany and feels comfortable in the team. If there is something like calculation in his considerations of playing for Germany, then it looks like this: The headlines in the Davis Cup still have a greater impact than victories in any ATP tournament. And: For his image, which had long been tarnished with the 2021 Olympic champion, there is nothing better than the Davis Cup stage.

Zverev, who will hopefully regain strength after his injury, will do everything possible to win the Davis Cup for Germany this year. The current mode makes it easier than before. In the intermediate round and final only two singles and one doubles will be played. However: In the qualification against Switzerland in Trier, there are four singles (albeit only two winning sets) and one double as before. Against the three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka & Co., it will be, to put it in the words of captain Michael Kohlmann, “a tough nut to crack”.

*Andrej Antic is editor-in-chief of tennis magazine, this article first appeared there



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