“This is a world championship in tennis, because bringing games to Austria is unbelievable,” says ÖTV sports director Melzer at the Davis Cup finals.
The group games of the Davis Cup final announced on Monday in Innsbruck are causing enthusiasm in the local tennis scene. “This is a world championship in tennis, because bringing games to Austria is unbelievable,” said ÖTV sports director Jürgen Melzer. Daviscup captain Stefan Koubek spoke of a tennis party that is second to none and hopes to be able to use the strongest team with Dominic Thiem at the top.
Thiem's manager Herwig Straka has already announced that the current world number four will be at home on the first weekend in Advent (from November 25th) on Monday. “Of course I hope that Dominic will be there, that is extremely important for our team,” said Koubek at an online press conference on Tuesday. “If we want to get ahead, we'll need Dominic.” Melzer also assumed that the domestic number 1 in Tyrol would compete.
In the case of the candidates for the second individual game, “the current form is manageable,” noted Koubek. “It's been a difficult year behind the players, so I understand why one or the other is out of breath.” In his opinion, however, the situation will normalize in the coming months. “We don't have a huge selection, so we have to wait and see how the form is a month or two beforehand,” explained Koubek.
Hope for fans
Melzer would have seen the final, originally scheduled last November, as the perfect end to his career. The 39-year-old has planned the Grand Slam tournaments in Paris (with Pakistani Aisam Qureshi) and Wimbledon as well as “maybe the Olympic Games and the US Open” for this year as a doubles player, but he no longer sees himself in the Davis Cup in the role of the active. “If two people get injured and Stefan needs me, I'll be the last one who won't play,” said the ÖTV record-breaking Daviscupper. “But if Olli (Oliver Marach, note) and Ossi (Philipp Oswald, note) are fit and everything is going normally, then these two should play.”
Melzer said that the organization of the competition, which was actually a marathon, was unwound like a sprint. Organizer Straka did most of the work, without funding from the federal government, the state of Tyrol and the city of Innsbruck, there would have been no chance. The altitude similar to the final venue in Madrid and information from the ex-player Galo Blanco, who is now working in the DC organization, also helped, said the Lower Austrian.
There is great hope that many fans will be admitted to the 7,000-seat hall of Olympiaworld. Austria Group C with Serbia and Germany should also mobilize numerous supporters of the opponents. Melzer assumes that these countries will also have the strongest line-up despite the late date and a week after the ATP finals. “I think Novak Djokovic is someone who likes to play for his country and this year, given the situation on the tour, there is a greater chance that most of the 1s and 2s from the countries will play,” said Melzer. “Everyone is longing to play such a cool event in front of spectators.”