The International Tennis Federation reserved an odd surprise for the Davis Cup Monaco team. Excluded from moving to the next level, the Principality’s players are being forced to stay in Group III.

“Playing is useless!” tweeted Guillaume Couillard, captain of Monaco’s Davis Cup team. The target of his exasperation is a new regulation that was recently applied to the prestigious competition: the “World” group, which is composed of the 16 best-performing countries with several groups divided by both regions and levels. The latter provides that the ascension or relegation of the teams in the groups now depends on their national ranking. This ranking is exclusive of results obtained during play

Monaco leapfrogged by Bulgaria

As such, several teams who had earned their promotion under the old system were subsequently downgraded to the benefit of opponents they had beaten. This is particularly the case for the Monegasque team. Placed in Group III, Principality’s squad was replaced in the higher Group II by Bulgaria. Bulgaria, however, lost to Monaco last year. The same unfortunate treatment happened to Luxembourg who was deprived of Group II play by Georgia, a country they had beaten on a regular basis

The injustice stings all the worse as the main stakeholders have not been warned by the International Tennis Federation which manages the competition. “I found out by scanning through articles on the Internet that we weren’t going up to Group II. But some teams got it even worse than us. Poland earned their Group I slot by winning all three of their Group II matchups in 2018, but they are being downgraded to Group III, like us!” complained Guillaume Couillard on RMC Sport. An outcome that is difficult to swallow, both in substance and in form.

*Article originally published on the French edition of the Monaco Tribune.