Francisco, congratulations on your second year as Deputy Director to The Davis Cup, what a wonderful achievement. What was that experience like at this year’s event?
It was another wonderful year at The Davis Cup. This is my second year as Deputy Director of the event, but the first without any kind of restrictions due to Covid. Being able to both work and enjoy an event of this magnitude has filled me with a huge amount of satisfaction. The public has responded very well, and all the teams were happy with the organisation.
How did you turn your former professional tennis career towards tournament direction?
The opportunity arose last year when the finals were held in Madrid, and since I´m also from the city, they thought of me and Fernando Verdasco to direct event competition. This year we’ve done it with David Ferrer in Valencia and Malaga. I think the experience of many years on the circuit and the knowledge of the players and captains helps and facilitates the relationship between the teams and the tournament.
When you take on a role as Deputy Director at a huge event like this, does it make you miss being part of the action on court?
I’ve been watching and working on tennis from the other side for a long time, so I have got used to the feeling more and more. The difference that I notice the most is when I played professionally I only had to focus on training and competing. Now, from the side of the organisation and management, the range of responsibilities and concerns is broader, and it’s not only focused on the competition. There are many aspects to attend to in such a large event.
History was made as Canada were crowned the world champions, what did you think of this result?
It´s true that Canada’s victory was historic, but to be fair they were a firm favourite before the tournament started. They had a very powerful and balanced team for both singles and doubles, and above all had Felix Auger on their side, who had an extraordinary final season, so the win wasn´t a surprise to me.
What were your match highlights from the tournament?
It´s difficult to choose in a tournament with so many ties and matches, but perhaps because of the importance of the match and the moment, it was the one played the day of the final by Felix Auger against Alex de Minaur. It was a match of great quality, pressure, and above all, the one that gave Canada the final victory in this Davis Cup.
Who was the star player in your eyes across the tournament?
I think that without a doubt Auger Aliassime was the most decisive player in the competition. He won all of his matches, and led Canada to the final victory!
The Davis Cup 2023 qualifiers are set to take place in February, what are your predictions?
It´s very difficult to predict so long in advance, especially since it isn´t known which players from each country will be available for that tie. What is certain is that there are very interesting and balanced ties between countries that have very good players, and it´s possible that some of the favourite teams could be eliminated in this qualifying phase.
Will you return to the Davis Cup in 2023?
At the moment I can say that I’ll continue joining this amazing competition for as long as I can!