Serbia replaces banned Russia in tennis showpiece

The decision of the International Federation excludes the defending champions of the Davis Cup and the Billie Jean King Cup

Novak Djokovic’s will replace Daniil Medvedev’s reigning Russian champions in the upcoming Davis Cup final this year, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed.

After terminating membership of the Russian and Belarusian federations but still allowing their athletes to compete individually, announced the news on its official website.

The ITF confirmed the process of replacing the Russian and Belarusian teams during the Davis Cup 2022 for men to be played in September, and the equivalent of the Billie Jean King Cup for women, which runs from April to November, where would have been the defending champions in each contest.

As part of its decision, the ITF stated that Davis Cup Champion 2021 Russia – as it was called “RTF” or the Russian Tennis Federation – had already automatically qualified for the 2022 finals of the competition.

However, in response to Russia’s operation in Ukraine, RTF will be replaced by Serbia’s top ranked losing semi-finalist 2021, led by Djokovic.

As Serbia enters the 2022 final on a wild card, the Davis Cup Finals Steering Committee will soon announce a replacement wild card country that will be selected from the 12 losing nations in the qualifiers to be played on March 4-5 this year.

Once selected, the wild card outfit will compete alongside Serbia, 2021 finalists Croatia, wild card contestant Great Britain and the other 12 nations that won the 2022 qualifier earlier this month.

These are Argentina, , Belgium, France, , Italy, Kazakhstan, South Korea, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the USA, which go to the Davis Cup final 2022 in September when the quarterfinals are planned in four cities. with the semi-finals and final of a fifth city in November not yet announced.

Due to competing in the World Group I play-offs from March 4-5, Belarus did not accept Mexico who won a walkover.

As for the Billie Jean King competition (formerly known as the Fed Cup), reigning champion Russia had automatically qualified for the final but will now be replaced by the 2021 highest ranked losing semi-finalists in Australia, who will not have to compete in qualifiers booked for April 15-16 while possibly led by female world setter Ashleigh Barty.

As a consequence, Australia’s planned opponents next month, , will have a goodbye and go straight to the final in 2022.

Elsewhere in the qualifiers, Belarus would face Belgium, who now also get a bye. This means that Belgium, Australia and Slovakia will join second in 2021 on the list of already booked for the final along with a host nation that has not yet been announced.

The announcement comes amid initial fears from the men’s world-class Medvedev about a possible ban on individual Russian players as well.

“We never know – some made this decision [to ban all Russian athletes]especially I would think the team sports, “he sa ahead of the ongoing ATP Masters 1000 event at Indian Wells, California.

“Tennis is probably one of the most individual sports we have in the world. Everyone lives in so many different places. There is always an opportunity [of a full ban]but I do not hope, he added.

After his third round 6-3, 6-2 victory over Czech player Tomas Machac to start his campaign in the tournament, Medvedev was in a more positive mood and said he “was just happy to be here and play the sport I love . “

“The fans were very good to me in this game. This is the first time I have heard this and people clapped, so thank you so much for the nice welcome,” he added.

(RT.com)

Source: sn.dk

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