German fans angered by forfeiture of Davis Cup dead rubber

Monday, February 03, 2014 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

German Davis Cup captain Carsten Arriens was booed by home fans in Frankfurt on Sunday even though his nation defeated Spain 4-1. Germany won the first three rubbers by Saturday, so both Sunday rubbers were "dead" and couldn't influence the final outcome. But Germany was forced to forfeit one of the dead rubbers after three of its four players were ruled out with injuries.

Tommy Haas, Philipp Kohlschreiber, and Florian Mayer—all of whom played on either Friday or Saturday—were unavailable Sunday, so only one reverse singles match could be played. Daniel Brands defeated Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut, 7-6 (5), 6-4; Brands later told the German press he had "zero motivation.” The scheduled opening reverse singles between Kohlschreiber and Feliciano Lopez was cancelled.

After Brands' victory, Arriens was booed while he tried explaining the situation to the 5,000 fans.

"The three players are not in a position to play; the fact we must forfeit a game is not ideal," Arriens told the crowd.

Arriens said while he understood fan frustration, he was surprised by the response.

"It felt more like a defeat," Arriens told the media. "I could understand the crowd's reaction, but I was surprised it was that bad. It was a very difficult situation because they were all injured and there was nothing I could do. It's truly not what we wanted but Tommy's fitness was questionable the whole week and even the doubles was in the balance. And Kohli had two long matches which cost a lot of power and he also has to contend with a painful arm I really do not know what I would have done if it had been 2-1. I just hope that the great Friday and Saturday will be remembered by all the fans."

Former German Davis Cup player Nicolas Kiefer, who was working as a TV analyst, criticized the German team.

"It is a pity and sad," Kiefer said. "It has tarnished everything that has been built up in the last two days. From the outside, this is not a good look for us."

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