Sports Outside the Beltway

Despite earthquake, Chile to host Davis Cup match

Israel is scheduled to play Chile this weekend. From AP-

Chile is still planning to host its Davis Cup series this weekend against Israel despite the devastating earthquake that has killed at least 700 people in the South American country.APTOPIX Chile Earthquake

Singles player Nicolas Massu arrived on Monday from Miami and expressed concern for the Chilean people but said he was ready to play.

Jose Hinzpeter, president of the Chile tennis federation, also said he wants the series to go ahead as scheduled in the northern port town of Coquimbo, which suffered little damage.

I don’t know about you. A tennis match seems unimportant when large amounts of people are dead or homeless. National pride from any win will just be transitory.


Australia forfeits Davis Cup match

Team Australia cited security reasons for their refusal to play a match in India. From Reuters-

Australia will not send its Davis Cup team to India for next month’s tie because of security concerns, Tennis Australia (TA) said on Saturday, leaving the country facing a year-long ban and a substantial fine.

The ITF, in a statement on the Davis Cup Web site, declared India the winner by forfeit and said it regretted TA’s decision. India advances to the next round of the World Group playoffs, in September.

“The Davis Cup Committee in due course will decide any sanctions to be assessed against Australia according to the regulations of the 2009 competition,” the statement said.

Under Davis Cup rules, TA now could be banned from the competition for 12 months and face a substantial fine.

Any future sanctions or ban inflicted on Australia has been earned. If a country wants to compete in these world-wide competitions, they can’t be the ones to determine who, how, and where the matches are to be played.

In light of this controversy, and the recent Sweden-Israel match that was closed to the public it might be time to play the Davis Cup matches on a less regular basis. Do they really need to be played every year? The Olympic Games are held every four, the Ryder Cup every two years. Every other year seems sufficient to me for the Davis Cup.


Davis Cup fines Sweden $25,000

This was a result of the country not allowing fans to attend a recent match held in the country. From AP-

The Swedish tennis federation was fined $25,000 on Thursday and the city of Malmo banned from hosting Davis Cup matches for five years because of the decision to play Israel behind closed doors.

The Davis Cup Committee also said Sweden will lose its choice of venue if a similar situation happens again, and the country will be required to guarantee that future matches will be open to the public.

Sweden hosted Israel last month in the first round of the Davis Cup, losing 3-2. The best-of-five series was played behind closed doors because city officials said they couldn’t guarantee security at the venue. Critics, including the Israeli team, said Malmo was caving in to threats of violence from anti-Israel groups.

“The committee strongly condemned the decision by the city government of Malmo to refuse to allow spectators to attend the matches and the resultant fact that the Swedish Tennis Association played the tie behind closed doors,” the committee said in a statement.

If Sweden don’t have the courage to stand up to thugs, they shouldn’t be hosting these matches. By keeping fans out, the event’s organizers capitulated and Tennis was the loser from this.


Davis Cup match to be played in empty arena

If no fans are allowed, who’s to say it really happened? From AP-

Sweden and Israel will play their first-round Davis Cup match in an empty arena next month because of security concerns.

Several anti-Israeli demonstrations are planned during the best-of-five series, which will be played March 6-8 at the 4,000-seat Baltic Hall.

Malmo officials announced the decision afterg a vote on the issue in the city’s recreational committee. The Swedish Social Democratic Party and the Left Party won the vote 5-4 after a long debate.

The committee said it could not guarantee security for the fans.

“It’s a high-risk match,” committee chairman Bengt Forsberg was quoted as saying by Swedish news agency TT.

High risk from what? Hysteria? This website claims Sweden has stricter gun laws than the US and a lower homicide rate.

Only officials, some sponsors and journalists will be allowed to enter the arena.

Journalists can be trusted never to be violent…..Oops.


This will be the second time a Davis Cup match will be played in an empty arena in Sweden. In 1975, two years after a military coup led by Augusto Pinochet against the elected Chilean government of Salvador Allende, Sweden played Chile in Bastad and no spectators were allowed.

History always repeats itself. I have written three Tennis posts in less than a week. What’s next? Another post about figure skating?

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