Todd Woodbridge blasts tennis officials after Aussie loss in Davis Cup final

Todd Woodbridge, pictured here after Canada's win over Australia in the Davis Cup final. I’m
Todd Woodbridge has hit out after Canada's win over Australia in the Davis Cup final. Image: Getty

Todd Woodbridge has described Canada's triumph in the Davis Cup final over Australia as a 'disgrace', saying they shouldn't even have been in the finals. The Canadians triumphed 2-0 in Sunday final in Malaga as Felix Auger Aliassime and Denis Shapovalov beat Thanasi Kokkinakis and Alex de Minaur in back-to-back singles rubbers.

However Aussie legend Woodbridge believes Canada's victory should come with a huge asterisk after they were granted a second chance wildcard into the finals when Russia was booted out. Canada were thrashed 4-0 by the Netherlands in the qualifying round earlier this year, but were gifted a place in the finals when Russia were evicted due to Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine.

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Woodbridge described the decision as a 'disgrace' at the time and doubled down this week when discussing Canada's triumph. According to the Aussie legend, who played in Australia's Davis Cup triumphs in 1999 and 2003, Russia's spot should have gone to the winner of the second-tier World Group I.

"I'm going to sound like a sore loser, but I don't really care," Woodbridge said on 2GB's Wide World of Sports radio. "Canada and the ITF (International Tennis Federation) ... 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.

"To Lleyton (Hewitt) and our boys: well done, you did it the right way, you fell just a little bit short. But to the rest of them: I hope they all go back in a boardroom and work out the rules properly for next year."

American great Andy Roddick previously said it would be hard to consider Canada 'legitimate' champions if they went on to win the Davis Cup. US team captain Mardy Fish was also critical of the decision.

Speaking in September, Fish said the Davis Cup "isn't an exhibition event where we make up rules as we go. Davis Cup has been around over 100 years."

The Canadian team, pictured here celebrating with the trophy after winning the Davis Cup final.
The Canadian team celebrate with the trophy after winning the Davis Cup final. (Photo by Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

Aussies fall short in Davis Cup final

Hewitt said he was devastated for his Aussie team after their loss to Canada. A stunning win over Croatia in the semi-finals had sent Australia into their first Davis Cup final since 2003.

"I'm gutted for the boys. They've put in the commitment and the work and done absolutely everything right all year," said Hewitt.

"They left it all out there once again. We came up slightly short, but I couldn't be prouder - and all of Australia should be proud."

Australia's cause wasn't helped by the absence of the red-hot Nick Kyrgios, who hasn't played Davis Cup since 2019. Kyrgios has come under fire after opting to take a six-figure sum to play an exhibition event in Saudi Arabia in December, but opted not to help his country's cause in the Davis Cup.

Lleyton Hewitt, pictured here during the Davis Cup final between Australia and Canada.
Lleyton Hewitt looks on during the Davis Cup final between Australia and Canada. (Photo by Sanjin Strukic/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

When asked if he would attempt to bring Kyrgios back into the Davis Cup fold in the future Hewitt said: "I don't know. You have to ask him. I can't try any harder."

When pressed he'd tried hard to woo Kyrgios into returning for the finals, Hewitt added: "Of course. I try and come here with the best possible team we could field."

When asked if he'd tried to persuade his good mate to play, de Minaur was equally downbeat. "I have tried, as well. Just wasn't meant to be...," he said.

Kyrgios would have been a handy asset to have against the firepower of Auger Aliassime and Shapovalov. The World No.22 has a 37-10 win-loss ratio in 2022 and capped his remarkable year with a run to the Wimbledon final in July.

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