FRANKFURT, February 4, 2015
The German Davis Cup squad has to look for a new captain after the departure of Carsten Arriens, one month before the first round World Group match against France in Frankfurt. The German Tennis Federation (DTB) and Arriens officially parted ways by “mutual agreements” but it is an open secret that the captain had problems with the new president of the Federation, Ulrich Klaus as well as Germany’s top-ranked-player Philipp Kohlschreiber.
Arriens kicked Kohlschreiber off the team after the 31-year-old from Augsburg had refused to play a dead rubber in Germany’s first round Davis Cup tie against Spain. Germany led 3-0 after Saturday’s matches and there was only one encounter taking place on Sunday. Back then, the atmosphere in Frankfurt heated up and the spectators booed their own team when the fifth rubber did not take place due to injured players as well as Kohlschreiber’s refusal. As a consequence of that, Arriens nominated new players like Peter Gojowczyk and Daniel Brands for the second round against France but Germany lost the tie.
Klaus wanted Arriens and Kohlschreiber to settle their differences but Arriens skipped a scheduled meeting with the world number 23 during the Australian Open in Melbourne. Reason for that is still unexplained. Arriens, who reached a career high at 109th position as an active player, is not the type of guy who likes to be in the spotlight. He is a tennis expert without any doubt but he doesn’t have excellent communicative skills, at least not in terms of public relations.
Now it has become a race against time. Germany hosts France on March 6-8 and a new team captain is not in sight. Rainer Schüttler, who is co-owner of the rights for the new ATP 250 event in Geneva, has already told that he is not interested in the job. Alexander Waske is officially still the coach of Tommy Haas, which could lead to another conflict of interests. Boris Becker, who told during the Australian Open that Germany’s best players always have to be nominated for the Davis Cup, will probably not risk his good and successful partnership with Novak Djokovic. There have been mentioned a couple of more names as possible successors for Arriens in the meantime but whoever it will be, he or even she (see Spain!) has to come to an arrangement with Kohlschreiber.
According to Klaus, a decision will be made not before the German Fed Cup team has played their first round tie against Australia next weekend. Germany’s men’s tennis will not burden the girls with their affair.