By Kristel Satumbaga
Organizers announced Friday the postponement of the 2020 Davis Cup competitions due to the coronavirus pandemic that has crippled the sporting world.
In a press release posted on the tournament’s official website, the decision came after a three-month deliberation on logistical and regulatory challenges that have arisen as the result of the pandemic.
“This postponement has no long-term bearing on our collective ambitions for the Davis Cup. The ITF and Kosmos Tennis look forward to delivering an outstanding competition in 2021, when it is safe and feasible to do so,” said Gerard Pique, Kosmos Tennis President.
“This is a tough decision to have to make, but delivering an international team event on this scale while guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved ultimately poses too great a risk,” International Tennis Federation chief David Haggerty said.
Eighteen teams have already qualified to this year’s Finals initially slated in Madrid, Spain from Nov. 23 to 29, while group ties were also set for September.
With the development, the Madrid Finals will commence on Nov. 22, 2021, while 24 home-and-away World Group I and Group II involving 48 nations will be postponed to either March or September next year.
Regional Group III and IV ties comprising 76 nations are also rescheduled in a still unidentified date next year.
“The ITF will work with the hosts of these ties and events in order to ensure a safe environment in which they can be played next year,” the press release said.
The PH Davis Cup team was relegated to the Regional World Group III after losing to Greece, 4-1, in a World Group II qualifier last March. World No. 6 Stefanos Tsitsipas steered the Greeks to that tie victory.
The PH Cuppers, composed of Ruben Gonzales, Francis Casey Alcantara, Jeson Patrombon, AJ Lim and Jed Olivarez, join teams from Hong Kong, Pacific Oceania, Syria, Jordan, Vietnam, Kuwait, Qatar, Malaysia and Sri Lanka in the Asia Oceania Regional Group III.