Dubai: The UAE Tennis Association (UAE TA) is expectantly awaiting a word from world governing body International Tennis Federation (ITF) before firming up the national squad’s preparatory programme for the 2020 Davis Cup.
In a note sent last week to all member nations, the ITF has prioritised its vast calendar of events while focusing on the main ones, including Davis Cup, Fed Cup and the events laid out by the ATP and WTA Tours.
The ITF has assured members that they will be informed about any changes taking pace in the schedule of events starting with the dates for their Davis Cup encounter. The ITF has further assured that all member nations will be informed about possible Davis Cup dates by the first week of August.
“We are hopeful the ITF will inform us about their decision regarding the Davis Cup dates once they decide,” Slah Bramly, Technical Director, UAE TA, told Gulf News.
“Luckily, all members of the UAE squad are already in training, and that can be a huge boost when we actually get to know about the final dates for the Davis Cup,” he added.
The players have been training on a regular basis and we are confident they will be in a much better position to take up future challenges
The UAE will join another 15 Asian teams in their Group IV Asia Oceania zone at the hardcourts of the Tennis Complex of Olympic Village in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan later this summer. The Davis Cup encounter was initially scheduled to be held in April, but was later re-scheduled and postponed due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic situation.
Joining the UAE will be the teams from Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Guam, Iran, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Tajikistan, Yemen and hosts Turkmenistan. The ITF is scheduled to meet in the later part of this month and convey its decision on the premier teams’ competition to members.
Members of the UAE squad, have in the meantime, started physical fitness sessions under the specialised Serbian fitness coach at the Al Habtoor Tennis Academy situated at Al Habtoor City along Sheikh Zayed Road.
“The players have been training on a regular basis and we are confident they will be in a much better position to take up future challenges,” Bramly noted.
“In a couple of weeks we will have word from the ITF and that will allow us to chart out a proper preparation programme for the squad,” he hoped.
In 2020, a record 142 nations have entered Davis Cup, making it the world’s largest annual international team competition in sport. The season-ending Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals was initially scheduled to take place at La Caja Magica in Madrid, Spain from November 23 to 29, 2020.
But with the coronavirus playing havoc with all activities, the ITF has now decided that the next edition of the season-ending teams’ competition will be held at the same venue in Madrid from November 22-28, 2021.
The Finals will feature 18 teams – 12 qualifiers along with the four semi-finalists from 2019, along with the two wild cards.