Argentina’s Juan Martin del Potro announces that he will not play Davis Cup this year. Over the past few years, del Potro has been odds with the Argentine tennis federation, current team captain Martin Jaite, and some teammates, specifically the now-retired David Nalbandian, who is considered a Davis Cup hero in the South American nation.
Del Potro has claimed that he has been pressured through certain members of the press to play and has been made to look bad after disputes with the federation. The 2009 U.S. Open champion said he was never consulted on the choice of captain, surfaces, or playing sites, and asserts that the one time he was consulted, for a 2012 tie against the Czech Republic, "the federation and captain did not take his opinion into account.”
Del Potro is 12-6 lifetime in Davis Cup and last played in 2012, when he won three matches, including two against Croatia in the quarterfinals and one over Czech Republic in a semifinal loss. He was heavily criticized for not playing the third day of that tie, even though he was injured.
In a statement released on Monday, Del Potro wrote:
“In November I wrote a letter showing my displeasure with the double standards and hypocrisy prevailing around Davis Cup. Since then, nothing has changed, but has gotten worse. Profound changes are needed to correct the mistakes that have been repeated over the years. I will not allow my name used to justify accusations that are a smoke screen. I never asked to name a captain and always respected the decisions of others, even if they have not respected me. Out of consideration for the people who follow me, who enjoy tennis, who have a memory and know what I've done in the Davis Cup and Olympic Games, for the sake of the silent majority who like this sport and to stay far way from insulting rivals or punish someone from their country, I will not play the Davis Cup for the rest of 2014.”
Argentina lost to Italy 3-1 in the World Group first round at home without del Potro, and will have to play in a World Group play-off in September.