France’s Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah has attacked the idea of the new format of Davis Cup that will be played from 2019 saying it was anything but Davis Cup.
Noah, who led France to a Davis Cup final where they lost to Croatia, said players like Lucas Pouille will cease to play in the tournament after its revamp. Pouille went down to Marin Cilic on the final day of the competition and later said he wouldn’t be a part of the Davis Cup any more.
Speaking to the media, Noah said:
“When people tell us it’s still going to be the Davis Cup, they are lying. I will tell them ‘you are liars’.”
The new version of Davis Cup will see a qualifying round held in February 2019 to feature in a year-ending competition comprising of 18 teams, much like a World Cup of tennis. However, this hasn’t gone down with many fans and players as it takes away from the home and away format that Davis Cup has been famous for other than being a best-of-three competition instead of five sets.
This will also be played at one venue in Madrid in 2019. It’s a deal in which the Spanish investment firm Kosmos has invested up to $3 billion a period of 25 years.
Noah led an impassioned tirade, asking whether playing a two-set match at a single venue was the true essence of Davis Cup.
Interestingly, French doubles player Nicolas Mahut also had his say about the new tournament. He had a long chat with the ITF president David Haggerty at the end of the Davis Cup tie. His doubles partner Pierre-Hugues Herbert noted it was disappointing to see the change.
“I am extremely sad today about the decisions of the ITF. After, it may be a good competition, but it will never be what it has been, the Davis Cup.”
Not just Mahut and Herbert, even Noah had a talk with Haggerty and he is said to have told the ITF president of what he felt about the decision – disgusted and upset.
The Davis Cup qualifiers to decide the 12 teams who join the six that have already qualified will be played on February 1 and 2, 2019. Here’re the match-ups for these qualifiers.
- Brazil v Belgium
- Uzbekistan v Serbia
- Australia v Bosnia
- India v Italy
- Germany v Hungary
- Switzerland v Russia
- Kazakhstan v Portugal
- Czech Republic v Netherlands
- Colombia v Sweden
- Austria v Chile
- Slovakia v Canada
- China v Japan