Stich's plan to recall Becker goes up in smoke
Monday, September 9
FRANKFURT, Germany -- Michael Stich was fired as Germany's Davis Cup captain Monday, ending his plan to put retired star Boris Becker on the team.
Stich was sacked by the German federation only hours after saying that he would step down following the Sept. 20-22 World Group relegation playoff against Venezuela.
"It makes no sense to go on like this," federation president Georg von Waldenfels said.
Stich, who became captain one year ago, said earlier he would step down because top players and officials opposed his idea of bringing back Becker, who retired in 1999. Stich also criticized the federation's lack of support.
Leading German players Tommy Haas and Rainer Schuettler said they would not play if Stich recalled Becker for doubles duty.
Stich said this was "unacceptable," since picking the team was his responsibility.
"Despite everything, my job and my aspiration always has been to seek the best for the team. That's why I feel forced to accept the ultimatum from Tommy Haas and Rainer Schuettler and to give up the idea of calling up Becker," Stich said in a statement.
Later Monday, Stich picked Haas, Schuettler, Nicolas Kiefer and David Prinosil for the match against Venezuela.
Waldenfels said Patrik Kuehnen would replace Stich on the bench. A former Davis Cup player, Kuehnen is a television commentator.