Davis Cup chief hits back at Stan Wawrinka after tournament row escalates

Former tennis player and committee chair of the Davis Cup, Mark Woodforde, has criticised Stan Wawrinka after he posted a video on social media showing the empty stands at this year’s tournament. The World No. 40 was at the AO Arena in Manchester where he filmed the scenes during Switzerland’s tie with France.

The video, posted on X, shows an almost empty stadium with just a handful of fans in attendance. The scenes were a stark contrast to the almost 9,000 spectators who were in attendance to watch Britain’s tie with Australia.

The clip has angered Davis Cup committee chair Woodforde who was quick to speak out against Wawrinka and his post. “It’s in the minority some of those voices, some of them are politically motivated, which is unnecessary,” Woodforde said.

“Stan created a bit of a furor by filming the stands. We’re always welcome to having feedback, it’s unfortunate he did it in such a public way.”

Thank you @3gerardpique @ITFTennis

Woodforde may have also been angered by Wawrinka’s comments on Friday where he slammed the lack of an “atmosphere” at the tournament. “We see the difference between today and three days ago – it’s not normal,” Wawrinka said via The Independent.

“I played some Challenger tournaments this year and there were way more people and a way better atmosphere than when we played France.”

Wawrinka is not the only tennis player to hit out at the lack of fans at the tournament. Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt also claims that the lack of fans in attendance has been a “disaster.”

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“I’ve said for years the two greatest things that Davis Cup had was the best-of-five sets, because it was the pinnacle of our sport, and the home and away format,” Hewitt said in reference to the changes made by private investment group Kosmos, founded and chaired by former football star Gerard Pique, which took over the administration of the tournament from the ITF in 2018.

“Playing in front of 500 or 1000 people, it’s not the same. But as I’ve told my team all the time, the pride comes in wearing the green and gold, so for us no matter what the format is, we’re still gonna go out there and leave it all on the line.

“But do I agree this format is good? No, not for a minute. We’ve gotta get rid of people at the top. We’ve seen what’s happened, it was meant to be a 25-year thing and it’s turned into a four-year disaster.

“So until changes are made, we’re gonna sit back and go through exactly the same stuff every year. I can say until the cows come home, but they’ve really screwed it up.”

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