Pique ‘pessimistic’ about staging 2020 Davis Cup Finals

andrewhendrie in News 13 May 2020
Pique Davis Cup Coronavirus
Gerard Pique (Photo: ChrysleneCaillaud/Panoramic)

Davis Cup Finals organiser Gerard Pique admits he’s ‘pessimistic’ about the competition being held as originally scheduled in November due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic

Set to be staged six months from now between November 23-29 at the La Caja Magica in Madrid, Pique – who currently plays football for Spain and Barcelona – isn’t confident about holding the 2020 Davis Cup Finals.

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Although most countries in Europe are improving in relation to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s expected that large gatherings are still a long way from being permitted – and that crowds at sporting events won’t be allowed until next year.

Government restrictions are currently being lifted in Spain – one of the hardest hit countries in the world – but Pique says playing the Davis Cup Finals without spectators would be tough.

“I’m a bit pessimistic, to have the Davis Cup with no fans is difficult,” Pique told Movistar.

“There is a lot of uncertainty. We are listening to what the sport’s ministry and the government are telling us about whether we’ll have the ability to have fans.”

Pique and his mysterious Kosmos Investment Group made the controversial move to transform the iconic Davis Cup from a year-long showpiece held across the world to a one-week spectacle played at a neutral venue from 2019.

Qualifying rounds for the Davis Cup Finals were among the last professional tennis events staged before all forms of competition were suspended until July 13 at the earliest.

Pique added that it’s challenging to start preparing for any form of the 2020 Davis Cup Finals because officials can’t travel to Madrid.

“People are obviously working from home, and we can’t go to Madrid to look at the facilities,” he said.

“I think in the next few weeks we’ll have more clarity but right now, we’re trying to be prepared.”

The inaugural Davis Cup Finals was a mixed bag in 2019. The vast majority of ties were played in front of barely any fans, with only hosts and eventual champions Spain drawing capacity crowds.

Scheduling issues were also at the forefront of the revamped Davis Cup, with many ties not completed until well past midnight.