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“Thank you Pique”: Stan Wawrinka shares video of atmosphere-less Davis Cup Finals
Said John Millman upon seeing the footage from Manchester, "This isn’t Davis Cup."
Published Sep 12, 2023
Stan Wawrinka could only laugh out loud Tuesday at what he was seeing.
Representing Switzerland at this week’s Davis Cup Finals group stage in Manchester, England, the three-time major champion shared a depressing glimpse at the ambiance inside the AO Arena for his nation’s tie with France. Vacancy, dreary and melancholy are all words that come to mind in describing the vibe.
“Thank you @3gerardpique @ITFTennis 🤬🤦🏻♂️! @DavisCup France vs Switzerland in Manchester lol,” Wawrinka wrote on X (formerly Twitter). The post has since garnered more than 1.4 million views.
Responded John Millman, “This isn’t Davis Cup.”
Added Mardy Fish, “They killed Davis Cup.”
Wawrinka later posted a clip of Ricky Gervais, stating “I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care.”
Ugo Humbert defeated Wawrinka, 6-4, 6-4, to clinch the best-of-three tie for France, after Adrian Mannarino rallied past Dominic Stricker in three sets. Australia and Great Britain are also in Group B.
It’s no secret the current state of the once renowned men’s team competition is lacking inspiration. In January, less than five years after signing a 25-year deal with the Gerald Pique-led Kosmos Group, the International Tennis Federation severed ties.
As part of the original partnership, the longstanding home-and-away tie format was mostly overhauled. Currently, four cities host qualifying Davis Cup Finals nations for the robin-robin group stage, before the competition shifts to Malaga, Spain, with eight countries advancing to the knockout rounds at the end of November to crown a champion. The significant structure change was marketed as creating a “World Cup” type atmosphere by both the ITF and Kosmos.
In February, Wawrinka helped his country earn the right to play this week after winning a decisive fifth rubber over Daniel Altmaier in Trier, Germany. Unlike the latter phases of the event, the Davis Cup qualifiers still showcase the traditional host versus visiting nation system.