Australia Withdraws From Davis Cup

Apr 27, 2009

Australia is facing sanctions over its decision to withdraw from next months Davis Cup tie against India, due to be held in the city of Chennai from May 8-10.

Australian tennis officials in response to player unease had requested that the tie be moved from Chennai to a neutral venue, and when this request was denied they withdrew from the competition citing fears for player safety, especially with the elections to be run at that time.

Aussie Decision In Defiance Of ITF Ruling

The International Tennis Federation had undertaken its own assessment of the situation and had deemed the event to meet its safety guidelines, making the decision of Tennis Australia a direct challenge to that assessment.

As a result there is a chance that Australia may face a one year ban from the tournament, as well as a fine of up to $100,000.

Subcontinental Safety Fears Not New

The safety of sportsmen on the subcontinent has been a major talking point over the past few months, with the general opinion being that the situation is too volatile at present for anyone to adequately make guarantees about the safety of teams and individuals.

The terror attacks in Mumbai in November rasied the issues loud and clear, but it was the attack on the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore last month that really hammered home the realities of the situation in that region.

Granted Lahore is in Pakistan not India, and the poilitical instability in that country far exceeds the situation in India.

However, the decision by the Indian Premier League (IPL) cricket officials to shift an entire 6 week cricket tournament from India to South Africa speaks volumes about what their own assessment of the situation is.

That event is much larger in scale, making it more difficult to manage the safety of so many teams and dindividuals. But to my way of thinking, the fact that there is enough concern about player safety to move the whole tournament offshore provides backing to the decision of Tennis Australia to put the safety of its players first and abandon the tie.

What was interesting to note were the reactions of Indian tennis officials. They were justifiably upset by the situation, but seemed to go a little far in their accusations towards Australian tennis officials branding them as “arrogant” and “highly irresponsible” and announcing their intentions to state that opinion in writitng to the ITF.

Sounds a little petulant to me.

In Other Tennis News

First Transsexual On Women’s Tour In 25 Years

Back in the late 70′s and early 80′s a female player by the name of Renee Richards competed on the women’s tour – the first ever transsexual to do so. She had to take legal action against American tennis authorities, eventually going all the way to the Supreme Court to have a ban overturned which allowed her to compete. She played her first U.S Open in 1977, and made the quarter finals the following year.

Renee’s story provided much of the inspiration for the second transsexual to play on tour, Andrea Pardes from Chile who suffered a heavy 6-0, 6-0 loss in her first ever event in Argentina over the weekend.

At the age of 37 it it is a fairly safe bet that she won’t be reaching the quarter finals of a Grand Slam any time soon, but there are still mixed emotions from players about the situation, with some claiming her hormones give her an advantage over her opponents.


Written by: Crooksy

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