Australia mulling boycott of Davis Cup tie

April 18th, 2009 - 9:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Davis Cup Melbourne/New Delhi, April 18 (IANS) The decision of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to retain Chennai as the venue of India-Australia Davis Cup tie has not gone well with Tennis Australia (TA) and might prompt a boycott from the 28-times champion.
The ITF Davis Cup committee Friday decided not to change the venue by near unanimous vote with four of the five members voting in favour and only Australia dissenting.

“The rebuff triggered speculation Saturday that Australia would consider other avenues of appeal — including head-of-state security — and possibly a boycott,” Herald Sun reports.

It seems unlikely team spearhead Lleyton Hewitt, Australia’s most decorated Davis Cup player, will travel to India for the match, the report said.

Hewitt’s manager, David Drysdale, said: “We are awaiting to see Tennis Australia’s response.”

The third round Asia Oceania Zone Davis Cup tie is to be held in Chennai May 8-10. But TA requested ITF last month to switch the venue, citing security concerns post Mumbai terror attack and the ambush of Sri Lankan cricketers in the Pakistani city, Lahore.

All India Tennis Association(AITA) secretary general, who is in Chennai to oversee the preparation, refused to comment on the news but remains hopeful of the tie taking place in the southern Indian metropolis.

“Of course, Australia has the right to appeal (against the decision) to the board of directors but I have not received any official information from Tennis Australia,” Khanna told IANS.

“I am quite confident Australia will come to Chennai for the tie.”

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