How is it possible for anyone in their right mind to dispute the validity of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas after this weekend, where the home and away format produced sold out arenas, passion, atmosphere, stunning tennis and to boot an element of historical data.
So-called observers who criticise the format of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas have either never been to a tie or have been to so few that their opinion should not be considered.
Just recently a journalist said to me: “I love Davis Cup but who the *&^% understands how it works?” It surprises me why some think it so hard to understand. There is the all-important World Group and then there are the zonals as nations try reach the pinnacle. Think about it, is that not similar to the regular tour where a player works his way up through the smaller levels?
That same journalist two days later Tweeted: “I was just asked if Manchester United was in the World Cup.” Sounds like it’s not so easy to understand the format of the World Cup.
In Geneva, 16,000 fans crammed into the Palexpo to watch a comeback by Stan Wawrinka and Roger Federer against Kazakhstan which the Swiss won 3-2. This was a stunning weekend of tennis as minnows of the tennis world tried to get past one of tennis’s powerhouses.
“I’ve been very fortunate in my tennis career to play in front of amazing crowds but this one is 95% Swiss and that makes it extra special,” said Federer in Geneva.
In Davis Cup rankings go out the window and the glory of playing for your team and your nation takes over. The legendary Australian Davis Cup captain Neale Fraser would say: “Davis Cup makes men out of boys.”
Andrey Golubev and Mikhail Kukushkin showed that in Geneva. In Nancy, France, a young unknown German named Peter Gojowczk proved that as well when he upset Jo Wilfried Tsonga which put the French behind 0-2 after the first day’s singles. L’Equipe headlined it “Apocolypse”.
However, the drive and passion of France to capture the Davis Cup saw them come back to beat Germany 3-2. France became the first World Group nation since 1998 to win a tie from 0-2.
If Davis Cup did not matter would we have seen such determination?
In Naples the Italians came back to beat Great Britain led by Andy Murray, 3-2 as they highlighted their dream to hoist the magnificent trophy once more.
This past weekend marked the first time in the history of the World Group that three nations in the quarters scored wins in the very last match that was played. This was a weekend of fervent national pride as the colour and noise and spine tingling excitement took over.