Ever since entrepreneur (and football star) Gerard Pique did a major restructure and reforms in the tournament, the Davis Cup has become a controversial event in the tennis world. Sports icons like Rod Laver and Roger Federer have aired their opposition against the moves while tennis greats like Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal said that they are in favor of the changes. A recent statement by one of the tournament’s organizers will surely cause more controversy as it involved one of the sport’s up-and-coming stars.
Alexander Zverev’s war of words with Davis Cup organizer
Davis Cup organizer Galo Blanco shot back at Alexander Zverev after the German star said that the tournament is prioritizing money after it partnered with Pique’s company Kosmos. According to El Larguero, Blanco said that it was insincere for Zverev to say that when he is on a South American tour to play exhibition games with Federer. Galo further said that the countries that the two top 10 stars will be playing in are currently experiencing economic recession.
Part of Zverev’s criticism of the new format is the decision to hold the Davis Cup in one location for just a week. He felt that the reforms were too radically different from the Davis Cup he was used to.
A former professional player himself, Blanco became a part of the tournament’s steering committee in 2018. During Spaniard’s professional tennis career, he reached a peak of no. 40 in the world rankings, memorably upsetting Pete Sampras in the second round of the French Open in 2001.
Zverev replaces Del Potro for Buenos Aires exhibition
Meanwhile, the German has now been confirmed to replace Argentinian star Juan Martin Del Potro in the exhibition game vs Federer in Buenos Aires this week. The match, scheduled on November 20, was supposed to be Del Potro’s homecoming after a major knee injury earlier this year. He, however, had to pull out of the event as a precautionary measure as he is still in recovery.
With the German player replacing Del Potro, the Buenos Aires event will serve as the second match between the Swiss and Zverev in the week. Earlier, the two already scheduled exhibition games in Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Ecuador respectively.
The Buenos Aires game is already being hailed as the sports event of the year in Argentina. Investor Manuel Figoli said that the country has among the world’s most passionate tennis fans. In fact, the tickets sold out within 48 hours of availability. Apart from the event itself, Federer and Zverev will also attend press conferences and hold clinics for fans.
Alexander Zverev’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.7, Alexander played his last match on the 16th of November when he lost to Dominic Thiem 7-5 6-3 in the semifinal in London.
This year Zverev has a 41-24 win-loss record. Zverev conquered 1 title in Geneva. Alexander was the finalist in Acapulco and in Shanghai.
Roger Federer’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.3, Roger played his last match on the 16th of November when he surrendered to Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 in the semifinal in London.
This year Roger has a 51-10 win-loss record. Roger clinched 4 titles in 2019 in Dubai, in Miami, in Halle and in Basel. Federer was the finalist in Indian Wells and in Wimbledon.
Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer played each other 10 times. The head to head is 5-5.
The last time that they played each other, Alexander Zverev won 6-3 6-77 6-3 in the quarter in Shanghai on the 11th October 2019.
Here the highlights.
Alexander Zverev and Roger Federer
|Embed from Getty Images|