CENTURION, August 6, 2021 (Tennis South Africa Press Release)
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has confirmed that the Davis Cup by Rakuten World Group II tie, between Venezuela and South Africa, will be played on a neutral ground, at the West Side Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York.
Following agreement between the two National Associations, South Africa will be regarded as the Home Nation and Venezuela the Visiting Nation, and the tie will be played on the 18th and 19th September 2021.
Venezuela was originally drawn as the host for the tie, but because of the security environment in the South American country, the event was moved to a neutral venue. The winner of the tie will remain in the Davis Cup Group II for the 2022 Davis Cup campaign.
“With the core of our Davis Cup team being based in the USA during September and considering the tight COVID-19 travel regulations in place across the globe, it is a practical and pragmatic, for all parties concerned, to host the tie on neutral ground, in New York. We would especially like to thank the West Side Tennis Club for opening their doors to us, in order to make this unique situation a reality,” said Richard Glover, CEO of Tennis South Africa (TSA).
The West Side Tennis Club, the iconic and historic former site of the U.S. Open, will host its first Davis Cup tie time since 1959. It will also mark the first time that Davis Cup will be played in the New York City area since the 1981 USA vs. Czechoslovakia Davis Cup quarterfinal at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows – featuring John McEnroe, Jimmy Connors and Ivan Lendl.
The best-of-five match series will be played the weekend after the conclusion of the U.S. Open, on a hard court in the 98-year-old historic horseshoe shaped Forest Hills stadium, which hosted the finals of the U.S. Championships and U.S. Open from 1923 to 1977.
“We could not be more excited to bring world class tennis back to the West Side Tennis Club, one of the most historic venues in American sports. While Forest Hills is most synonymous as the former home of the U.S. Open, the West Side Tennis Club has also hosted many Davis Cup matches, Wightman Cup matches, as well as the Tournament of Champions men’s event. We are thrilled to add another chapter of our illustrious tennis history, with this South Africa versus Venezuela clash, ” said West Side Tennis Club President, Monika Jain.
“It’s been 40 years since Davis Cup was last played in the New York area and 62 years since it was played at Forest Hills, so this is an event that New York sports fans should not miss,” added Jason Weir-Smith, the South African-born West Side Tennis Director of Racquet Sports, who was the driving force behind securing this Davis Cup tie at the venue.
“We invite everyone to come to the West Side Tennis Club to take in the beauty of our club, watch an exciting form of competitive tennis and be part of this very special event. We want this to be the start of bringing more and more world class tennis events to Forest Hills for years to come,” concluded Weir-Smith.
The Davis Cup by Rakuten is the largest annual international team competition in world sport. Founded by Hall of Famer, Dwight Davis, in 1900, Davis Cup began as a challenge match between USA and British Isles, with that first event being held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston, Massachusetts. Today, more than 120 nations compete in the global event.