TJ retakes Davis Cup control
Tennis Jamaica (TJ) has reassumed full control of the nation’s Davis Cup campaign, including the team selection process and preparation after discussions with Russell Tennis Academy (RTA), which has withdrawn from an arrangement signed with the previous TJ administration, led by Aswad Morgan.
The update was provided through a release from TJ yesterday.
Tennis Jamaica and the Russell Academy were embroiled in a tug of war over the two years deal, which was penned in January 2019. However, shortly after Azar came to office last month, concerns were raised about the fairness of the Davis Cup team selection. Azar then ordered a review and outlined some terms they wanted changed in the contract, but this led to a stalemate in the negotiations, with RTA ultimately deciding to withdraw from the agreement.
“Following reports in the media over the past week pertaining to the document signed by the former Aswad Morgan led Tennis Jamaica Administration and the Richard Russell Tennis Academy relating to the 2019 Davis Cup team, please be advised that after amicable and extensive discussions and having heard the concerns of the new Tennis Jamaica executive in relation to that document, Russell Tennis Jamaica Academy has withdraw from any previous agreement,” read TJ’s release.
“As such, Tennis Jamaica has now retaken full control of all aspects of the Davis Cup campaign, including ensuring that the process pertaining to team selection is in keeping with its established selection criteria and ultimately a fair and transparent one.
Tennis Jamaica as the national association will not abdicate its responsibilities relating to the selection of any national tennis team,” the release continued, while adding that despite the short notice and the lack of funding, TJ will make every attempt to ensure Jamaica competes in the 2019 event, set for June 17-23 in Escazu, Costa Rica.
The release also noted that while the selection criteria can be altered, such changes cannot be arbitrary and advanced notice of any such changes must be given to all parties in the interest of fairness and transparency.
Importantly, the new TJ executive, consisting of Mrs Nancy Pinchas, Senator Aubyn Hill, Dwayne Pagon, Errol Campbell, Kristofer Martin and John Azar will form the new Davis Cup committee and will be the ones ultimately responsible for all decision-making going forward.
They will replace the former RTA-commissioned committee of Joey Chin, Leroy Brown, Nicola Bicknell, Cecil Bird and Richard Russell.
The release went on to thank Russell for its assistance.
“The new executive team of Tennis Jamaica wish to sincerely thank Mr Richard Russell for having stepped in January 2019 to salvage the country’s participation in this prestigious event on the tennis calendar at a time when the previous administration surprisingly appeared intent on withdrawing from same.”
Meanwhile, seven of the island’s top players have since accepted invitations to national trials from which the team to represent Jamaica will be selected. Details of the trials will be announced shortly. Jamaica will compete in Group 3 of the ITF Davis Cup in June in Costa Rica.