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Sport A Reworked Davis Cup Requires Some Patience

15:35  19 november  2019
15:35  19 november  2019 Source:   msn.com

Defending champions Croatia beaten in Davis Cup opener, Italy upset

  Defending champions Croatia beaten in Davis Cup opener, Italy upset The revamped Davis Cup Finals began with defeats for defending champions Croatia and a talented Italy team.Champions a year ago, Croatia's chances of even progressing from the first stage in the 2019 Finals already look remote – with Rafael Nadal's Spain still to play in Group B.

MADRID — Nerves have been part of Davis Cup since tennis’s oldest team competition began 119 years ago. But the edginess has a different source than usual this week in Madrid, where Davis Cup ’s final rounds have been radically transformed by an unlikely partnership between the International

The official website of Davis Cup features news, live scores, results, videos and photos from the largest annual team competition in sport.

Sara Bieker et al. posing for the camera: Though the stadiums were not full Monday, there were still pockets of boisterous partisan fans, including those from Belgium, which played Colombia. © Clive Brunskill/Getty Images Though the stadiums were not full Monday, there were still pockets of boisterous partisan fans, including those from Belgium, which played Colombia.

MADRID — Nerves have been part of Davis Cup since tennis’s oldest team competition began 119 years ago.

But the edginess has a different source than usual this week in Madrid, where Davis Cup’s final rounds have been radically transformed by an unlikely partnership between the International Tennis Federation and Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué.

The suspense, for a change, seems less about who will win the big, gleaming trophy and more about how much anyone will care who wins the big, gleaming trophy.

Serbia into last eight at Davis Cup

  Serbia into last eight at Davis Cup Serbia into last eight at Davis CupFilip Krajinovic's opening 7-5 7-6 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga effectively guaranteed Serbia their last-eight spot before Novak Djokovic beat Benoit Paire 6-3 6-3 to put them 2-0 ahead in the Group A clash at La Caja Magica.

Some jobs also require patience when it comes to waiting for a long time for stuff to get done, or require Firefighters also need patience ; sometimes they have to move quickly, but being careful is always a priority. The same is true for police officers and other people who help protect or save others.

The Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals kicks off with the official presentation. Access to Davis Cup Madrid Finals 2019 through the February Qualifiers. Davis Cup ranking, 4 Feb: 14. Group: A. Croatia. Direct access to Davis Cup Madrid Finals 2019.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19: Andy Murray of Great Britain in action during Day 2 of the 2019 Davis Cup at La Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for LTA) © 2019 Getty Images MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 19: Andy Murray of Great Britain in action during Day 2 of the 2019 Davis Cup at La Caja Magica on November 19, 2019 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images for LTA)

It makes for an odd vibe, and opening day on Monday was, first and foremost, about evaluating the size and passion of the crowds, not about scrutinizing the forehands and backhands.

The first impression was clear: Attendance was underwhelming at the Caja Mágica tennis complex, with all three of its covered stadiums far from full for the day’s three head-to-head team matches.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 12: Kosmos Founder and President, Spanish football player Gerard Pique, looks on during the Presentation of the Davis Cup by Rakunten Finals 2019 of tennis at Caja Magica on November 12, 2019, in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images) © 2019 Europa Press MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 12: Kosmos Founder and President, Spanish football player Gerard Pique, looks on during the Presentation of the Davis Cup by Rakunten Finals 2019 of tennis at Caja Magica on November 12, 2019, in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Oscar J. Barroso / AFP7 / Europa Press Sports via Getty Images)

But in this new and uncertain era, it would be unfair to judge the product too quickly, even if, at this stage, the only matches that are sold out this week are the two involving Spain and its very popular leader, Rafael Nadal.

Canada outlast Russia to book historic Davis Cup final berth

  Canada outlast Russia to book historic Davis Cup final berth A pulsating tie went the way of Canada, who defeated Russia to ensure they will contest the Davis Cup final for the first time.Russia prevailed in a deciding doubles tie-break in an epic contest with Serbia a day earlier but were unable to repeat the trick as Denis Shapovalov and Vasek Pospisil made history for Canada.

Subscribe to the Davis Cup Newsletter and you'll get the latest news direct to your mailbox. The plans will be submitted to the ITF Annual General Meeting, to be held in August in Orlando, Florida. A two-thirds majority will be required for final approval.

Patience does not come easily to most of us and it's probably harder now to be patient than historically it has ever been. When you're patient you take the time to assess the situation, see the big picture, and weigh any pros and cons. The chances of making a big mistake lessen because you avoid

In all, there are 18 teams gathered for this final phase, including two nations that received wild cards: Argentina and Britain, which has Andy Murray back on its squad as he continues his comeback from major hip surgery.

Whether or not you relish the wild-card concept — and I certainly don’t unless it’s the host nation — the 18 teams are divided into six groups. The group winners and two next best teams will advance to the quarterfinals, which begin Thursday. All matches are best-of-three sets, and each head-to-head team matchup comprises two singles matches followed by a doubles match.

It feels like a sprint compared to the long-form Davis Cup duels of the past, which were best-of-five sets and contested over three days with four singles matches and a doubles match. At the top level, there were also four rounds over the course of a year.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona salutes the supporters prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona  and RC Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou on November 09, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) © 2019 Quality Sport Images BARCELONA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 09: Gerard Pique of FC Barcelona salutes the supporters prior to the Liga match between FC Barcelona and RC Celta de Vigo at Camp Nou on November 09, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) But with the top players playing the event only intermittently and with long-term viability and revenue a concern, the I.T.F., led by its American president David Haggerty, voted to change the format beginning this year after receiving a lucrative offer from Kosmos, the investment group presided over by Piqué.

For Dad: Bautista Agut gives Spain 1-0 lead over Canada

  For Dad: Bautista Agut gives Spain 1-0 lead over Canada MADRID (AP) — Three days after the death of his father, Roberto Bautista Agut beat Félix Auger-Aliassime 7-6 (3), 6-3 to give Spain a 1-0 lead over Canada in the Davis Cup final on Sunday. An emotional Bautista Agut pointed his finger to the sky while celebrating his victory. Top-ranked Rafael Nadal can secure Spain the title at the inaugural Davis Cup Finals with a victory against Denis Shapovalov in the second singles match later Sunday. © Provided by The Associated Press Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut returns the ball to Canada's Felix Auger-Aliassime during their tennis singles match of the Davis Cup final in Madrid, Spain, Sunday, Nov. 24, 2019.

Davis Cup - Draws & Results. The official website of Davis Cup features news, live scores, results, videos and photos from the largest annual team competition in sport.

The Argentina Davis Cup team represents Argentina in Davis Cup tennis competition and is governed by the Asociación Argentina de Tenis. As of 2016, the team has competed in the World Group since 2002 and reached the finals five times (1981, 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2016)

“I think you’ve got to look at it as a whole, look at the big picture,” said Mardy Fish, a former top 10 player who is the new captain of the United States Davis Cup team. “It feels different, a little different, sure, but the bones are there. The playing for your country is there, and the team part is there, and it’s always special putting on the flag and putting on the jacket. There is something very powerful about the American flag and having it on your chest.”

The United States, featuring two Davis Cup rookies in Taylor Fritz and Reilly Opelka, will make its debut in the new format on Tuesday. The U.S. will face Canada, which defeated Italy on Monday after another of the game’s bright young talents, Denis Shapovalov, clinched the victory over the new Italian star Matteo Berrettini, 7-6 (5), 6-7 (3), 7-6 (5), in what amounted to the new Davis Cup’s first thriller.

Gerard Pique in a suit standing in front of a building: The Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué with the Davis Cup in September. His company, Kosmos, conceived a World Cup-style team event for tennis. © Bryan R. Smith/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images The Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué with the Davis Cup in September. His company, Kosmos, conceived a World Cup-style team event for tennis.

Participation of star players was one of the big justifications for messing with the Cup’s rich tradition, but only five of the current top 10 are in Madrid.

Nadal hails Spain's 'unforgettable' Davis Cup win

  Nadal hails Spain's 'unforgettable' Davis Cup win Spain's Davis Cup win in Madrid will never be forgotten by world number one Rafael Nadal.Nadal overcame Denis Shapovalov 6-3 7-6 (9-7) after Roberto Bautista Agut had beaten Felix Auger-Aliassime to secure Spain's sixth Davis Cup title.

The official website of Davis Cup features news, live scores, results, videos and photos from the largest annual team competition in sport. Subscribe to the Davis Cup Newsletter and you'll get the latest news direct to your mailbox.

Argentina accepted Juan Martín del Potro’s declaration of exhaustion for decisive Davis Cup rubber and were rewarded with Leonardo Mayer beating Dan Evans. But we’ve had some great times in Davis Cup , a hell of a run. Our team is in much better shape than it was a few years ago.

Though No. 1 Nadal and No. 2 Novak Djokovic are here, No. 4 Dominic Thiem and No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas, who dueled Sunday at the ATP Finals, are not because their countries, Austria and Greece, did not qualify. No. 5 Daniil Medvedev, worn down from a successful fall, withdrew and was not on the Russian team that beat Croatia on Monday. And Davis Cup refuseniks Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev are providing plenty of social-media competition with a big-money exhibition tour of Latin America.

Tennis Channel in the United States will show one of those exhibition matches on Sunday after failing to agree to financial terms with Kosmos on the rights to Davis Cup. Instead, Fox Sports 2 will broadcast the American team’s matches and the championship match in the United States.

“People go to Tennis Channel to watch tennis, and they have exhibitions on there instead of real stuff,” Fish said. “It’s disappointing, and I know the guys are disappointed.”

Eric Abner, a spokesman for Tennis Channel, said: “We’re disappointed, too. We want to show Davis Cup. It comes down to resources.”

Less extreme options were considered for the Davis Cup format: making it a biennial instead of an annual event; or having the semifinals and the final at a neutral site with two earlier rounds played in the traditional home-and-away format.

Murray opted to play it safe after 'mild' injury issue at Davis Cup

  Murray opted to play it safe after 'mild' injury issue at Davis Cup Former world number one Andy Murray has revealed how a "mild" groin injury forced him to sit out much of the Davis Cup.The former world number one recorded a three-set singles victory against Tallon Griekspoor of the Netherlands but did not feature again during the new-look tournament in Spain.

This is a list of tennis players who have represented the United States Davis Cup team in an official Davis Cup match. The United States has taken part in the Davis Cup since 1901. Statistics correct as of 18 September 2017.

The Spain Davis Cup team is the men's national tennis team and has represented Spain internationally since 1920. Organised by the Real Federación Española de Tenis (RFET)

And if you listen to the skeptics, less extreme options may eventually be reconsidered.

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“I will bet you anything you like that in maximum two years they are going to change the format again,” said Ion Tiriac, the former Davis Cup star for Romania, in a recent interview.

Tiriac is a longtime tennis coach and agent, who is also the owner of the tournament held in Madrid in the Caja Mágica each year in May. For Tiriac, 80, the Davis Cup transformation is a travesty.

“It is a joke and a disgrace,” he said. “They have ruined the jewel of tennis.”

Piqué, in an interview earlier this year, played down Tiriac’s criticisms.

“He’s very old school in the way he sees things and at the same time being in Madrid, both of us, is something that doesn’t help,” Piqué said. “Maybe if instead of Madrid, we were playing the first two years of this even in France, he would have a different feeling.”

For Piqué, more accustomed to dealing with opposing strikers than tennis power brokers, his Davis Cup journey has been quite a steep learning curve.

He approached leaders of the I.T.F. and the men’s tour, the ATP, with Kosmos’s concept of a World Cup-style team event. But even after the I.T.F. became Kosmos’s partner, negotiations continued with the ATP.

With the parties close to an agreement in 2018, the deal collapsed. The ATP created its own men’s team event, the ATP Cup, which will be held in early January in Australia with 24 teams and, for now, commitments from nine of the top 10 men in the rankings.

That will make for two very similar competitions within seven weeks of each other, which is, naturally, far from ideal. But Piqué has continued to express his belief that a merger or joint deal can eventually be completed.

“I’m very confident that in the future we can do it,” he said. “I can tell you that we have tried, and we will keep trying, because we believe this is the way to go, but at the same time we have to face reality.”

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For now, the reality is that the Davis Cup finals will be staged in these less-than-ideal November dates in Madrid this year and next year. But Kosmos and the I.T.F. could choose a different venue or different dates in the future.

“I see it with a long-term view,” Piqué said. “The deal is for 25 years.”

The long-term view certainly seemed the more pleasant view when the opening ceremony took place on Monday afternoon in a main stadium that was less than half full.

But by the time evening arrived, there was the 20-year-old Shapovalov holding off the 23-year-old Berrettini and howling with unfeigned delight before celebrating with his teammates and a small but rowdy group of red-clad Canadian fans.

Mixed signals? Get used to them.

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