“We didn't say we would change tennis” | sports


To this revolutionary construction that is the new Davis Cup appeared on the opening day of Monday a crack, which has since been showing the complaints of those selections that have seen how their qualifiers extended well into the early morning. The last to join that list was Spain, which started the series on Tuesday against Russia at six o'clock in the afternoon and closed it when there were only ten minutes to two in the morning.

“The schedules are not the best. Play three games at six in the afternoon … ”, Feliciano Lopez lamented after the victory of the doubles with Marcel Granollers. “These days we were talking about that, that if one of the singles lengthened we could finish at two in the morning, and we were not wrong. But that's what there is. In the end, everything is played in one week and it is very compressed, but all the teams are in the same situation, so it cannot be an excuse, ”said Toledo, in a position shared by the rest of the Spanish team.

“When something is done for the first time there are always mistakes… It is obvious that something will have to be done, because it cannot be that the games end at two in the morning; to me, in fact, it has conditioned me because I have not been able to put my number one player (Nadal) in the doubles, so it will have to be adjusted for next time ”, added the captain, Sergi Bruguera, who stopped the will of Nadal participating in a match that would have been an extra physical burden for a capital player. "It's a problem thinking about the players, the teams and the public, because tomorrow is a working day," added the Balearic.

"It is absurd to be so late," said Frank Dancevic, captain of Canada, a country that on Monday's opening day started his first game at four in the afternoon, and ended up with the doubles at the edge of the morning. "Starting at six or seven is hard," Pospisil seconded, one of his pupils.

Feliciano López and Marcel Granollers, during the doubles match against Russia.

Feliciano Lopez and Marcel Granollers, during the doubles match against Russia. GTRES

According to the attendance data provided by the organization, 20,200 spectators went to the San Fermin facilities throughout the day on Tuesday, exceeding 12,114 on the first day, although although during the Baptist and Nadal meetings the track showed an absolute full, during the doubles about half of the attendees had already left the Magic Box. The problem of transforming the afternoon function into a kind of session gulf It does not present any possibility of time correction, since the calendar design does not contemplate any possible alteration.

Actually, the delays in tennis are not new. The nature of the sport itself propitiates them, since unlike others it is unknown when the matches will end. It has happened in this new Davis, and it also happens in Melbourne, Madrid, Rome or New York, among many others. However, the dilation of the conference clashes with the message of dynamism that the organization projected from the beginning to define the event. “We are not going to change tennis. The basis of a regular tournament is maintained, but it is different. Now a tie is resolved in one day, not three. That is the agility of the format. We didn't say we were going to turn the matches into quarter-hour games, ”they defend from Kosmos.

Canada's resignation to doubles complied with the regulation

G. R. P / A. C.

Canada's resignation to play the doubles against the United States once the pass to the quarterfinals was achieved, was another anomaly of the tournament in its first days of life. And it is that in the bases of the competition the necessary dispute of two individual parties and another one of doubles in each one of the eliminatory ones was established, since in case of tie the results of those three confrontations would be decisive.

"What they did is completely legal," says Costa, deviating from the idea that Canadians decided not to attend a meeting that began at ten o'clock at night to save strength. “There is a medical director who has signed that these three players were not prepared to play (two with lumbar problems and one with a shoulder problem), and we cannot do anything there,” adds the Catalan; “I was justified. In all tournaments there are players who do not play doubles the day before and the individual do the next day ”.

The organizing company explains that it has tried to adapt to the conditions of this first year of launch. The Magic Box has three working stages, so the room for maneuver is very small. “The ideal would be to have four or five, and also have 10 days of competition instead of seven. I wish all things came out at first, but we believe that to continue to improve and be better, it is good to listen to criticism and find solutions. We are in it, ”says Galo Blanco, sports director of Kosmos.

“It's amazing that on Tuesday, at 1.45, there were 8,000 people watching a doubles match; I think that has never been seen in a Grand Slam. Two months ago, at the US Open, there were 1,500 people at the end of that modality, and here we had 8,000 … ” the manager is extended, to which Albert Costa, director of the Davis Finals, responds. “We have to compare with the old format,” says the 2002 Roland Garros champion. “It used to be played from the first round, five sets, so it is much more dynamic. The players can say it. I have been a player, I have participated many times in Davis and, yes, yesterday it was late, but this has already happened many times. I wish I could have played with this format! ”

Blanco insists on reinforcing the particularity of Davis against other tournaments, in terms of following fans. “The idea is that every fan follows his team, it is not a regular tournament. If you come here in May, to the Masters of Madrid, you buy a ticket to see Federer and then Murray, for example. In one day you see four. Here is different. It's Davis and you come to see your country: Rafa, Roberto, Feli … To see Spain. It's different, and we want that feeling, that you feel that you come to see your country. ”

Despite the circumstance, the organizers explain that the new project is in an experimental phase and affect the good reception of the players. Apart from the temporary setback, a very favorable opinion of the new design is spread among the vast majority of tennis players. “It's a very different format and you have to adapt, because sometimes you depend on just one set. I think it is much fairer and more disputed, it matches everything. Not so favorite teams can surprise, and in my opinion, it is very positive and you have to trust him, ”said Feliciano Lopez. "It is exciting. The format makes everything very tight. If you have a fault everything can happen, it's nice. For the strong teams it makes it more difficult and gives the rest options, ”says Nadal.

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