The Good, the Bad and the Ugly from the 2019 Davis Cup Finals

published: Nov, 25, 2019

by: Charles Blouin-Gascon

Welcome to Tennis Elbow, the column that looks back on the week that was in the world of tennis. This week, Charles Blouin-Gascon reviews the 2019 Davis Cup.

Regardless of your allegiances and whether or not you’re Canadian or Spanish, the 2019 Davis Cup has to go down as a resounding success, right?

Before Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut and the rest of Spain emerged victorious over Canada to win with the 2019 Davis Cup title, the fact was that the event had already been deemed successful—at least in our household. Because for one entire week, this most important of tennis team event finally managed to capture the eyes of the entire tennis universe all at once in a way that it hadn’t in…well if not ever, at least not in a long time.

The Davis Cup Finals, formerly known as the World Group Stage, moved from an intermittent and recurring weekend-event unfolding over 12 months and adopted a week-long structure at the end of the season where 18 different world teams would compete for the crown that Spain eventually captured.

Frankly, it was a long overdue change. Tradition is worth something, but there’s only one Wimbledon you know? In the attention society we live in, a society where the only currency is the number of eyes your sport, moment, tournament, show, etc. can attract, the Davis Cup organizers had been reticent before this year to indulge tennis fans and preferred to present their event to the world one small weekend at a time. It was, frankly, a little like giving a thirsty man water to drink through a dripping faucet: sure, it helps but one drop at a time isn’t enough and it could help more if you simply turned the dang thing on.

Well in 2019, the Davis Cup powers that be turned the faucet all the way on and it paid off big time. Because suddenly, players didn’t need to pour their all over a number of different weekends on a calendar that was already loaded. Suddenly, players only needed to invest their time and energy over one week—and what’s one more week when you’ve already poured in all you had for about 48 different weeks?

Of course, not everything was great. This happening during one full week, there were some early matches (not involving host country Spain) where attendance was sparse. That’s okay. “We make a plan, and now that we have the reality, we can go back home on Monday and start thinking on what has not worked,» Kosmos Tennis CEO Javier Alonso told The Associated Press, «well and how we can improve those things that have not worked well. »

They’ll strike the right and correct balance in no time, we’re not nervous about that.

The other place where this new Davis Cup was a resounding success was in our native Canada, which reached yet another milestone in what’s become a bit of a recurrent theme for the country this year.

Behind gutsy and inspired performances from mostly Vasek Pospisil, who’s always game for these kind of events, and Denis Shapovalov, the 14th-ranked country in the world scored back-to-back-to-back upset wins against Italy, the United States and Australia to reach the 21st-ranked Russian team in the semifinal. Naturally, being the lower seed for once this time, Canada scored a straight matches win to make the final and the country’s best ever finish at the Davis Cup.

In the final, Canada was matched against a Spanish team counting on the great (and newly crowned No. 1 player) Nadal and, well, typically he emerges victorious from such clashes. And he did.

Just about everywhere, this new Davis Cup was a huge hit and success. The only place where it remains to be seen is in the number of page views we’ll see on this column.

Follow Charles Blouin-Gascon on Twitter @RealCBG

Charles Blouin-Gascon

I'm the mastermind (I use this word very generously) of the 'Tennis Elbow' column, which looks at the previous week in the world of tennis. I try to bring humor to my coverage, because life's much better when you're smiling. I can also hit a mean backhand down the line.

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