By Neto Baptiste
Chances of Antigua and Barbuda competing at this year’s Davis Cup slated to begin in June are highly unlikely.
This is according to President of the Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA), Cordell Williams Sr, who said that even if the present coronavirus pandemic ends before then, or should the tournament be rescheduled for a later date, the chances of the twin-island state fielding a team are slim.
“Even when this curfew [on sports] is over or this crisis is over, we are not even sure if we will even contemplate playing Davis Cup this year because we will just be showing up. For me, I don’t’ want to just show up I want us to be able to compete so I don’t want to put together a team just to say you’re participating in Davis Cup and you’re really not there,” he said.
Organisers are yet to name a host country for the Americas Group in which Antigua and Barbuda are set to compete.
Williams said the rapid spread of the deadly coronavirus has caused the sport to grind to a halt at an international level.
“Our first tournament this year would have been Puerto Rico and then we would have moved on to Barbados and Trinidad over the Easter. Puerto Rico had cancelled and then Barbados and Trinidad. ITF [International Tennis Federation] and COTECC [Confederation de Tenis de Centroamerica Caribe] put out their calendar that all tournaments would have been suspended until March,” he said.
“Two days ago, another circular came out that everything is now put on hold until June 4th or 8th, and they would look at it again, but I believe that as June comes up that it will still be pushed back further,” he added.
Many of Antigua and Barbuda’s top tennis players, to include the only pro, Jody Maginley, are based outside of the Antigua and are currently in countries impacted by the coronavirus.
Antigua and Barbuda finished 7th from among 11 teams which competed in Zone Three of the Americas group in the 2019 edition of the tournament.