Thursday, October 02, 2008

Is this fair?

So, the ITF has penalized Croatia for having hard courts that were too fast during their Davis Cup tie against Brazil.
First, yeah. It was obviously the court that allowed the Croats to win, 4-1. As I recall, Gustavo Kuerten is no longer playing tennis. So, is there any surface Brazil could beat the Croatians upon? Ice? No, it's freakin' hot in Brazil.
Second, here's what really bugs me about this punishment. I'm just going to "borrow" this from the story:

Marina Mihelic, the head of Croatian Tennis Federation, said the ITF checked the court three days before the matches started on Sept. 19 and concluded that the speed of surface was indeed above the maximum, but only minimally. Mihelic said she consulted ITF again and it suggested that the court surface didn’t need another layer because it would postpone the matches.

Riight. So, the ITF knew the courts were too fast, and says, "Hey, don't worry about it. Not enough time to worry about it now." At the end of the tie, they take 2,000 points away from them -- after they told them not to fix the "problem?"
I'm not a huge Davis Cup fan, so I'm already slightly biased, I guess. But does anyone else think this punishment is a little wrong? Or a lot wrong?


Zafar said...

You know what's probably happened - the ITF realised late in the day that they made the wrong decision in allowing play to go ahead and needed to be seen to be taking some form of "corrective action". But because they knew they were in the wrong they also made the token gesture of turning down requests by the Brazilians to disqualify the Croatians and declare the Brazilians the winners.

It all has a slightly amateurish feel about it...

Anonymous said...

Hey Naf, I agree with Topspin totally about this. It's like the ITF tried to crack down on surface speed, which has been a problem probably as long as Davis Cup has been in existence, and did it half-assedly. It's just a token punishment, too, because Croatia won't even move from its seeding. If they were going to punish them, dock them a match before the tie starts or something!

Naf said...

Hi, Topspin and Van! Incidentally, I spent several hours drilling about topspin today. Anyway, the fair thing to do here is replay the point, as they say. Really, what they should have done is let them add the extra layer. It is amateurish, but again, the lack of organization is what makes me not love the Cup.