The Davis Cup is one of the most prestigious events in tennis. The current edition of the tournament is hurtling towards the end, and as always, it has been thrilling to watch teams trying to one-up the other. However, Swiss tennis star Stan Wawrinka made a stunning claim about the organizers this week.
Switzerland was knocked out of the tournament earlier this week. Despite their elimination, they will face off against Australia, who are still in the race for the trophy.
The Swiss maestro took to social media to level this accusation against the International Tennis Federation (ITF). He claimed that they have been paying people to show up at the event to provide vocal support to participating countries.
Trivia Davis Cup question :
Did you know that @ITFTennis are paying people to support and make some noise for every country at every match 🥁🎺🪕🪘🎤
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) September 16, 2023
The Davis Cup is rightfully called the World Cup of tennis. It is one of the leading team events, with countries vying for the title of ‘World Champions.’
This year, however, there was a serious lack of attendance. Therefore this allegation by Stan has raised eyebrows. Fans too noticed that something was amiss and Stan’s tweet helped put two and two together. One fan even took a dig at the new format of playing in neutral countries, instead of the old home-and-away format.
He def looked a bit over the top. pic.twitter.com/MjoAx0lEnk
— N Rossier (@NicRossier) September 16, 2023
We’d do it for free but you don’t play at home anymore 😅
— the daily serve (@thedailyserve) September 16, 2023
Tennis icon Stan Wawrinka has good reason to hold the ITF accountable so bluntly. Players and fans alike have noticed the poor attendance this year.
The spat Stan Wawrinka and the Davis Cup organizers continues
The Davis Cup used to be a marquee event, inspiring the same kind of hype that the Grand Slams did. However, over the years, the enthusiasm for the tournament has declined. The change in format has not helped either, as players now play without the support of home crowds.
Wawrinka took to social media to share a clip of empty stands during the Switzerland vs. France matches this week. He tagged Spanish soccer star, Gerard Pique and thanked him, sarcastically. Stan got a miffed reply from the soccer star.
— Stanislas Wawrinka (@stanwawrinka) September 12, 2023
Pique was one of the key figures to introduce this revamping of the event. Now players have to play at neutral venues, and virtually, without any crowd support. Players like Novak Djokovic have also voiced their dissent, but their words have fallen on deaf ears.
The efforts to revive the Davis Cup were commendable, but it is clear that this gamble has not paid off. Going forward, this year’s reception will hopefully be considered, as tough decisions will have to be taken.