Shepparton News

Noah way will it be same

YANNICK LETS IT BE KNOWN HE DOESN’T LIKE DAVIS CUP REVAMP AND IT SHOULD ALSO HAVE NAME CHANGE

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Yannick Noah has launched an attack on the imminent Davis Cup revamp after his third spell as France captain ended with a defeat to Croatia in the final.

Lucas Pouille said he was quitting the Davis Cup shortly after his defeat to Marin Cilic sealed France’s fate with Noah declaring the competitio­n was disappeari­ng in all but name.

‘‘When people tell us it’s still going to be the Davis Cup, they are lying. I will tell them ‘you are liars’,’’ an emotional Noah said.

The Internatio­nal Tennis Federation (ITF) has decided that from next year, apart from February’s qualifying round, ‘‘home’’ ties will be scrapped and the World Group knockout format replaced by an 18-nation, one-week event to be staged in Madrid.

Best-of-five-set matches will also change to best-ofthree.

The makeover is being backed to the tune of $3 billion across 25 years by Spanish investment firm Kosmos — a deal the ITF says will pump muchneeded money into national federation­s.

Noah, who led France to Davis Cup glory in 1991 and 1996 in his first two spells as captain and again last year, said occasions such as Sunday, when 22 000 fans produced an incredible atmosphere inside Lille’s Stade Pierre Mauroy, would be consigned to history.

‘‘We talk about money, but how much is it worth for the ball boy, who is from here, to shake the hand of Lucas Pouille and have a picture with him?’’ Noah said.

‘‘How much is that worth? How much is the dream in dollars? This will never happen again.

‘‘So why don’t people tell the truth? It will never be the same.

‘‘With all due respect, I really hope they don’t (continue to) call it the Davis Cup because this is not the Davis Cup.’’

French doubles player Nicolas Mahut was seen in a long discussion with David Haggerty, the ITF president, immediatel­y after their defeat was confirmed.

‘‘It was a message that I wanted to send him directly. I think he received it well,’’ Mahut said.

Noah said he had also spoken to Haggerty at the pre-final dinner.

‘‘I said I’m disgusted and upset to his face. It’s the truth. It’s the way I feel,’’ the 1983 French Open winner said.

On Saturday, Haggerty said the Davis Cup had to change to appeal to a greater television audience.

 ?? Picture: EPA/Yoan Valat ?? Noah arcs up: French Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah is critical of the new Davis Cup format that will be introduced next year.
Picture: EPA/Yoan Valat Noah arcs up: French Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah is critical of the new Davis Cup format that will be introduced next year.

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