Nicolas Mahut asked to retire by French Tennis President following row over Davis Cup
After being criticized by Nicolas Mahut for French Tennis Federation not able to save Davis Cup in its old format, its chief Bernard Giudicelli counters the French tennis player's allegations by suggesting that they were able to save the competition.
Davis Cup is one of the most prestigious tennis tournaments in the world. It has a legacy of more than 100 years. The tennis tournament in 2019 got a revamp as the Gerrard Pique‘s Kosmos Group took the reins of hosting and managing the event in a $2.5 billion deal for a 25 year contract.
However, the company has now decided to cancel its deal with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) much earlier before the expiry of the contract. The Kosmos Group had envisaged to bring the competition back to its old glory. Also, to entice sponsors and make the event more popular amongst the tennis fans, it also planned to make some changes in the format of the competition.
However, the proposed changes made were not appreciated by the tennis players and also failed to attract the public into stadiums. French tennis player Nicolas Mahut was one of them who criticized the ITF for making these changes. He also criticized current ITF chief David Haggerty and French Tennis Federation president Bernard Giudicelli for not trying to salvage the tournament in its old form.
Mr. Giudicelli hits back at the tennis player. In a latest interview, he explained the situation.
“We will not be able to review the format from before (home / away every year, editor’s note), it is a long process of mourning for some but it cannot work as before, quite simply because the players no longer want . When Nicolas Mahut says: ‘As president of the FFT, he should have done something’, that’s why I say that Nicolas Mahut is ignorant, because there are rules in the constitution of the ITF and there is an article, which is article 19-C,” he said.
He also argued that the French Tennis Federation and ITF were able to save the competition and that Mr. Mahut is wrong in criticizing him and the organization.
“We didn’t lose anything at all, we saved the Davis Cup. And it’s not a 41-year-old player who is going to explain to a 20-22-year-old player how things should work. Well, Mahut he is good for retirement, that he retires and maybe he becomes a journalist (smile), it will give him the opportunity to make harsh criticisms, which he does quite well,” he added further.
Many tennis players are against new Davis Cup format
When the Kosmos Group took over the management of the Davis Cup, its proposed few changes to the format of the competition. Its preferred for finals at neutral venues for old home and away matches. It also changed the best of five set format of the competition to best of three sets competition.
When the changes were made many tennis players had criticized it. Meanwhile, the ITF went ahead with the proposed changes and implemented into the competition. However, the criticism of the competition did not stop.
Many tennis players such as Lleyton Hewitt, Alexander Zverev, Nicolas Mahut amongst others. However, as the Kosmos Group decided to cancel its deal with ITF, more and more tennis players are now asking for Davis Cup to turn back to its old format.
However, the ITF has in its statement made it clear that the tournament will be played in the current format this year. The final will be played in Malaga, Spain as scheduled. Any changes in the format of the tournament will be made after taking suggestions from both active and retired tennis players and will be implemented from last year.
Abhar Indorkar covers tennis stories and news for FirstSportz. He is an ardent fan of Rafael Nadal but also cheers for Daniil Medvedev. Besides tennis, his interests include football, hockey, F1, and cricket. He is also passionate about photography and art and keeps himself busy playing with colors.
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