Málaga, Nov 16 (EFE).- The Davis Cup salad bowl arrived this Thursday in Málaga, with Feliciano López leading the delegation, in the week prior to the start of the tournament that will be held at the Martín Carpena Sports Palace from November 21 to 26, a competition with the notable absence of Spain and the presence of figures such as world number one, Novak Djokovic, or the Italian Jannik Sinner.
There are a few days left until the start of a new edition of the most important international team tennis tournament, in which Canada, Italy, Holland, Finland, Serbia, Great Britain, Czech Republic and Australia will fight for the giant trophy in the shape of salad bowl that the Canadians raised the previous year on the same Malaga stage.
Although the presence of the world number one, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, monopolizes the spotlight, there will be players in the Carpena category such as the Italian Jannik Sinner (4), the Australian of Spanish blood Alex de Miñaur (13), the British Cameron Norrie (18), the Canadian Felix Auger-Aliassime (19), the transalpine Lorenzo Musetti (22) or the Dutch Tallon Griekspoor (25).
The competition is once again managed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and not by Gerard Piqué’s Kosmos companies, with whom the agreement was broken at the beginning of this year. However, there will be no changes to the format and an atmosphere similar to the last edition is expected, when 61,916 total fans were reached, more than 10,000 per day.
The silver trophy has traveled from the Atocha station in Madrid to the María Zambrano station in Málaga, a journey made by the president of the International Tennis Federation, David Haggerty; the Secretary General for Sports, José María Arrabal; the sixth vice president of the Malaga Provincial Council, Juan Rosas; the Sports Deputy of the Malaga Provincial Council, Jorge Vivas, and the director of the Davis Cup, Feliciano López, among others.
“It is an honor and an opportunity, there are many tickets already sold and committed. Málaga’s hospitality is guaranteed,” declared the mayor of Málaga, Francisco de la Torre, who was present at the reception of the salad bowl.
Asked about the possibility of renewing Malaga’s commitment to continue hosting future editions, De la Torre said: “It is possible, but we will have to talk about it in the coming days with the other institutions, the Board and the Provincial Council. It is a significant effort, but it has projection and success and the people who come spend money here in the city. It is something that we will see and that will be decided on the day of the final.”
For José María Arrabal, Davis is “a centuries-old competition whose players play for their countries and that means for Málaga, Andalusia and Spain a high level of international prestige.”
“The eight nations that visit us are disembarking en masse, almost all the tickets have already been sold. It is striking how 1,500 Finns have bought tickets for several days. This event will be seen in 180 countries and there will be intangible values that go beyond,” Arrabal highlighted.
In his speech, the representative of the Andalusian Government estimated that “for every euro invested, fourteen euros will be returned, of which four will go to hospitality and restaurants and the other days to international promotion and presence in international media,” he said in terms of economic impact.
In addition, he highlights that “more than 250 sporting events have been held in Andalusia this year”, something “difficult to match”, but “the promoters of large events recognize the reputation of Andalusia as an organizer, not just as a sponsor.”
From the Provincial Council, in the words of the sports deputy Juan Rosas, they are “very happy with what it entails bringing an event like the Davis to Malaga” and, in this framework, they announce that there will be a provincial tennis league in Malaga with the participation of fourteen municipal schools.
Finally, the former Spanish tennis player Feliciano López, now president of the tournament, was satisfied that the public “has responded so well”, since for the last few days practically everything has been sold, although “there is some percentage of tickets still to be sold.”
As a tennis player and champion with Spain, he knows what it means to play an event of this nature: “It is so different from everything else that it is immediately exciting for any player. It is true that in recent years there have been changes, but we are at the moment when people understand the format and where we want to go,” he explained.
For this year’s edition “there are no big news compared to last year, but there will be a dedicated city. The city is dressed in Davis. We are going to see a very nice atmosphere these days,” Feliciano concluded.