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Amidst $50 Million Davis Cup Dispute, Stan Wawrinka Mocks New Format’s Failure With Meme

Puranjay Dixit

Amidst $50 Million Davis Cup Dispute, Stan Wawrinka Mocks New Format's Failure With Meme

After Switzerland fell to France in the Davis Cup, Stan Wawrinka took to Twitter (Now X) to mock the low attendance for the fixture in Manchester. The format of the team tournament was changed recently after ITF partnered with Kosmos, a sports entertainment company owned by Gerard Pique. To make the event more TV-friendly, changes were made to shorten it.

Wawrinka posted a video showing the empty stands as their tie went deep into the night. He attacked ITF and Kosmos, who have an ongoing dispute of their own. The federation collaborated with Pique’s firm in 2019, after which they changed the format. However, they decided to pull the plug on the contract, leading Kosmos to seek $50 million in damages.

Stan Wawrinka mocks new format for empty stadiums

Playing on neutral ground, France bested Switzerland 3-0 as Stan Wawrinka lost his singles and doubles matches. Adrian Mannarino defeated Dominic Stricker in the first match before the three-time Grand Slam winner took to the court. All three matches happened in a single day in a neutral country. With Australia and Britain the other two teams in Group B, the loss jeopardizes Switzerland’s chances of qualifying for the final.

As the tie went on, Wawrinka posted footage of a match being played in front of empty stands. He captured the sparse crowd attending the fixture. He tagged Pique and ITF, sarcastically thanking them.

Wawrinka also posted a clip of comedian Ricky Gervais hosting the 2020 Golden Globe. He used the quote “I know he’s your friend, but I don’t care.”

ITF and Kosmos signed a 25-year deal in 2019 to revitalize the Davis Cup. Once the most prestigious tennis tournament, it has fallen down the pecking order. The agreement, signed with the hopes of making the event more viewer-friendly, however, did not seem to work out. ITF chose to terminate the contracting and consequently, Kosmos filed a suit.

Kosmos has filed for damages following failure of new Davis Cup format

Pique’ Kosmos inked a deal in 2019 to operate and broadcast the Davis Cup for the next 25 years. They rang in a number of changes to make the tournament more suitable for telecast and TV audiences. In the older format, the tournament took place all season long, with months between rounds, which all happened in separate locations until November.

A tie consisted of five matches, played with best-of-five set rule. This mean a tie was spread over the entire weekend, and many such weekends throughout the season made up the Davis Cup Group stage.

Now, the former Barcelona defender’s corporation has whittled down the ties to three best-of-three matches, all scheduled for a single day. The entire group stage is condensed into one week in September. 16 teams have been put in four groups of four, and each group will play their fixtures in a single location. This has caused more problems than solved.

Neutral team’s fixtures barely get any viewers, as showcased by Wawrinka. Fitting three matches in one day means they run late. The USA – Italy fixture ran past than 4:00 a.m. Kosmos has also ran into broadcasting issues with many reporting malfunctioning streams.

All these issues, in a tournament already losing viewership, made ITF reconsider its partnership with Kosmos. They pulled the plug on the deal just four years into it. Pique, however, has not taken kindly to it and filed a lawsuit, asking for $50 million for unjustified termination. The Davis Cup has weathered many storms in over 120 years of its existence. This feud will hopefully just be another. Regardless of whether it returns to the old format or not, the prestigious tournament is sure to continue for a long time.

About the author

Puranjay Dixit

Puranjay Dixit


Puranjay is a Tennis Journalist at The SportsRush. He has written more than 300 articles on the sport. Ask him anything about tennis and he is ready to come up with well-crafted answers. He has been following tennis ever since his parents introduced him to the game when he was 10. His favourite player may be Rafael Nadal, but ask him who's the GOAT, and he'll say, Novak Djokovic. He may be pursuing a degree in an unrelated field, but creating quality sports content remains his first love.

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