The drastically restructured Davis Cup tournament was launched a week ago. In most people’s eyes, it had one noticeable flaw: It wasn’t the Davis Cup that we’ve all come to love. That’s not much of a shortcoming when you consider that the competition, which is 118 years old, is finished. Unfortunately, it will never be revived even if Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos take an interest in it. It’s time to move on, even though it’s rather difficult for most who are still clinging on to the memories of past ties.
Davis Cup 2.0
Only hours before the competition started last week, Lleyton Hewitt, who was already in a pre-tie lockdown with the squad from Australia in Bosnia-Herzegovina, started fuming over the changes made to the format of the Davis Cup. He referred to it as “absolutely ridiculous.”
However, there he was, in traditional gold and green Aussie colours preparing his team to join in on making history while the brand-new Davis Cup was preparing to lift off. Fortunately, it was a huge success for Hewitt and his team who led the Australian team into the 18-team World Group who will participate in the final taking place in Madrid in November. Apart from Australia, Italy, Serbia, Germany, and Sweden were also able to qualify. However, Sweden was unable to advance.
Although the traditional teams still regretted the makeover, the ties over the weekend were still competitive and satisfying. In addition, they managed to produce the beloved and familiar Davis Cup atmospherics. Those that manufacture multi-coloured wigs, whistles, and drums don’t need to fear a recession within their industry at all.
The old format of the Davis Cup was loved by all due to the fact that the nationalistic subtext produced a unique way where underdogs could become superhuman features. This includes John Isner who managed to upset Roger Federer on clay more than seven years ago. It’s definitely a story that Isner will continue telling until his last breath. Thankfully, the competition managed to provide a handful of those cherished heroes overnight.
Santiago Giraldo is a perfect example. He is the most successful singles player from Columbia, but he hasn’t managed to win anything as of yet. Columbia has been extremely close to qualifying for the World Group a total of 6 times only to stall at the end. However, in this Davis Cup competition, which is the 51st in 2019, the Columbian team managed to claim victory at home while playing against Sweden. Giraldo, who is playing as number 2, managed to win both his singles matches.
On the other hand, Felix Auger-Alainssime from Canada managed to withstand road game pressures as he clinched a vital fifth rubber while playing against Nobert Gombos from Slovakia. Both these victories resonate far more than before as both Canada and Columbia usually made it to the playoffs but could never get past the knockout stages of the World Group first-round. This time around they’ve managed to advance to the finals that will take place in Madrid.