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Volume 7 No. 146

Events and Attractions

Roger Federer is among the tennis players who have refused to commit to playing in the Davis Cup.
Photo: GETTY IMAGES

There are "serious doubts about the participation of several top players" in next year's inaugural Davis Cup Finals after it emerged that Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic "refused to commit despite being offered wild cards," according to Stuart Fraser of the LONDON TIMES. Great Britain and Argentina were announced a fortnight ago as "the beneficiaries of the controversial new wild-card entry route," in which a four-person panel -- including Gerard Piqué -- selects two nations to bypass the qualifying round in February. It is understood, however, that Switzerland and Serbia "were the preferred choices until it became clear from Federer and Djokovic that they were still unsure whether they wanted to play in the 18-team event," to be held in Madrid next year from Nov. 18-24. A "further blow" was landed on Wednesday by German Alexander Zverev, who confirmed that he will not appear in the new-style Davis Cup "because of its place in the schedule at the end of a long season." The 21-year-old claimed that "other star names will do the same." Zverev: "I will not play Davis Cup in November. In November [after the ATP Finals], I do not want to play tennis any more. All the top guys will say the same thing. We have one-and-a-half months off in our season, and that's at the end of November and December. Making a tournament at the end of November, it's crazy" (LONDON TIMES, 10/11).