Australia will not go to Chennai
Australia will not go to Chennai for the Davis Cup tie against India next month, Tennis Australia announced today.
The decision follows the International Tennis Federation board’s rejection overnight of a Tennis Australia appeal to shift the tie out of India because of security concerns.
“We asked for the tie to be moved because we have major security concerns for the players, particularly during the election,” Tennis Australia president Geoff Pollard explained.
“The ITF decision has left us with no other option,” Mr Pollard said. “We cannot send the team. It is extremely disappointing.”
“It would be irresponsible of us to send our players into an area of such high risk. Davis Cup is very important to us but some things are more important than tennis,” he said.
Davis Cup captain John Fitzgerald said he was angry and upset with the ITF decision.
“It is just irresponsible. Surely some thought must be given to the players’ safety.
“I believe they say the election is not a cause for concern, the IPL moving is not relevant and that an ATP tournament held in January shows it is safe to play in Chennai.
“So what about the fact that dozens of people are being killed along the campaign trail of the election? A train was hijacked this week, but that does not alter their thoughts? Did the IPL move for no reason,” Fitzgerald asked.
“The ATP event involved no national teams and was held three months prior to the election. This decision makes no sense. We have worked so hard to get back in to World Group contention, to have it snatched away like this is gut wrenching,” he said.
Fitzgerald said the players shared his disappointment and still hoped for an ITF change of heart prior to May 8.
I can't believe this. I am so disappointed in the ITF and Tennis Australia.