Italy managed to win their only Davis Cup in 1976. On that occasion, the Italians defeated Jaime Fillol and Patricio Cornejo’s Chile in the final. Corrado Barazzutti and Adriano Panatta were the absolute protagonists of the singles matches, while in doubles Paolo Bertolucci won the decisive match always in the company of the former world number four.
In 2019, the historic format of the most famous team competition underwent a sharp change. A revolution that has not been liked by the insiders and the players who have made the history of this sport. Panatta has always criticized the choice made by the ITF and, in an exclusive interview with Libero, an Italian newspaper, reiterated his thoughts.
Panatta: “Tennis is now a massacre”
Former Italian tennis player said: “The Davis Cup no longer exists. If you say Davis Cup, only memories light up. It’s not Davis, it’s something else. For me it is the Piquet Cup, which has the former Barcelona defender among the creators.
What does this have to do with my Davis? In my Davis there were four singles and a double. There was room to correct a singular that went wrong. Not today and, on the eventual 1-1, it will only be double to decide. It’s a lottery game.
I would have preferred Jannik Sinner, absent with a finger problem, and Matteo Berrettini. Victims of this exhausting tennis, at 220 per hour.” Panatta then expressed a criticism of the long calendar that characterizes the tennis season: “Too many injuries? The fault of this exasperated tennis, always torn and played as if the human body were a Formula 1.
You play too much, too.” Italy will play the semifinal against Canada today: the goal is to reach a historic final. The team led by Filippo Volandri defeated the United States 2-1 in the quarter-finals. Berrettini and Sinner will be two of the main stars of the upcoming tennis season, starting in 2023 from Australia.
And, at the Australian Open, there will also be the much awaited come back of Novak Djokovic, after the ban of this season due to the covid-rules.