Canada achieved a historic moment after beating Australia to win their first Davis Cup, but a tennis legend believes the victory should come with an asterisk.
Former Australian star player Todd Woodbridge believes Canada should not have been in the final in the first place if it were not for the International Tennis Federation giving them a second chance.
Canada was chosen as a replacement wild-card entry for the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals after the recent suspensions of the defending champion Russian Tennis Federation and Belarus Tennis Federation from ITF membership created a vacancy. Canada received the berth as the highest-ranked losing nation at this year’s qualifiers.
With the second-chance opportunity, Canada got through the elimination rounds in September in Valencia to reach the final eight this week in Malagá, Spain, defeating Germany, Italy and finally Australia to clinch the title.
Woodbridge, who won 16 Grand Slam men’s doubles titles, believes Canada should not have been given the spot after being swept 4-0 by the Netherlands in qualifying.
“I’m going to sound like a sore loser, but I don’t really care,” Woodbridge said on the Wide World of Sports program.
“…Canada shouldn’t have even been in the final. They lost in April. They were given a second-chance wildcard to play in this event. You do not win the Davis Cup on a second chance; you have to try again next year. But they have a serious asterisk against their name, which is unfortunate. I probably assume that the ITF would have liked Australia to win the competition.
“If you’re going to change rules mid-year, it doesn’t hold the same values as it did once before.”
Woodbridge isn’t the only tennis player to take issue with Canada getting another chance as U.S. Davis Cup captain Mardy Fish expressed his displeasure back in September.
Former world No. 1 Andy Roddick also believes Canada’s inclusion didn’t make them a legitimate contender at the time in a tweet that has since been deleted.
“Canada was given a wildcard into this round after losing to qualify for this stage ….. tough to consider them legitimate if they win this whole thing,” Roddick wrote on Twitter.