7. Cup controversy
ONE of the biggest controversies of the year happened well away from the tennis court. The Davis Cup changed as we knew it after the ITF and a group led by Spanish football star Gerard Pique proposed a format that was voted in. Under the new format, 18 teams qualify and play in a week-long event at the end of the season. Gone are the nationalistic home-and-away ties, except for qualifying, and the five-set matches that made the format famous. The move attracted plenty of controversy with countries including Australia, the US and France against the proposal. How it plays out is anyone’s guess, but Australia will play Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide early next year to try to qualify for the World Group. world by storm and he put respect back into the game in Australia. It started in Brisbane, where he made the semis, and continued the next week when he made the final in Sydney. He would also make the final in Washington and add a Challenger title in Nottingham. But the best game of his year came at the US Open, where he lost to seventh seed Marin Cilic in the third round. After going two sets to love up, de Minaur looked done at 5-3 down in the fifth set but saved five match points to break back before eventually losing 7-5. It showed the fighting spirit of the Aussie. Expect more of that in 2019. De Minaur wasn’t the only Aussie to get into the top 100 this year. Jason Kubler made it after battling numerous knee injuries that almost ended his career. Matt Ebden returned as well too, after injury problems, as did Bernard Tomic. Also in the top 100 are Jordan Thompson, John Millman and Nick Kyrgios. Roger Federer. Khachanov, the world No.11, could join Zverev next year inside the top 10. In a stellar 2018 the 22year-old Russian won three titles, including the Paris Masters with a win over Djokovic. Tsitsipas, 20, announced his arrival with his first title win in Stockholm and an amazing run in Canada. He lost the final but became the youngest player to defeat four top-10 opponents in a single tournament. He is Greece’s next big hope in tennis and it is clear to see why. Open next year.