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Australia to forfeit Davis Cup match against India

KEY BISCAYNE, FL - MARCH 27:  Lleyton Hewitt of Australia returns a shot against Gilles Simon of France during day five of the Sony Ericsson Open at the Crandon Park Tennis Center on March 27, 2009 in Key Biscayne, Florida.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Nathan AseriosContributor IApril 26, 2009

Tennis Australia announced that it would not to participate in the upcoming Davis Cup match against India after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) rejected its appeal for change of venue and upheld the decision to hold the competitions in Chennai as planned.

Australia’s decision could be costly. Under Davis Cup rules, if a team defaults from a match, it will not be eligible to compete next year and could pay a fine of up to $100,000.

Here’s the statement released by the ITF via the Davis Cup website (http://www.daviscup.com):

The ITF regrets and respectfully disagrees with the decision of Tennis Australia to default its upcoming Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Asia/Oceania Zone Group I third round tie against India, scheduled to be played in Chennai on 8-10 May.

By virtue of its decision not to send a team to compete against India, Australia has forfeited the tie. India is declared the winner and will advance to the Davis Cup World Group Play-offs, scheduled for 18-20 September. The draw for the Play-off Round will be held on 12 May at the ITF Offices in Roehampton.

The ITF, as it does for every Davis Cup and Fed Cup tie, asked the host nation to produce a comprehensive security plan for the tie. Tennis Australia received the completed security questionnaire from the All India Tennis Association; however, because of the specific concerns of Tennis Australia, the ITF also asked its independent security consultants, the Olive Group, to make a site visit to Chennai to investigate both the situation on the ground and to assess the security arrangements put in place by AITA.

Following the site visit, the Olive Group reported that it was satisfied that the tie could go ahead as planned. Tennis Australia received a copy of the Olive Group report. This, and other information related to the tie, was presented to the Davis Cup Committee, who voted that the tie should proceed in Chennai. Following an appeal by Tennis Australia, the ITF Board of Directors voted to uphold the decision of the Davis Cup Committee, after having received complete documentation for review.

The Davis Cup Committee in due course will decide any sanctions to be assessed against Australia according to the Regulations of the 2009 Competition.

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