No decision has yet been made on where Canada will travel to play its first-round World Group Davis Cup tie in March. But Guadeloupe wants it.
The Caribbean island is technically one of 27 French administrative regions, five of which are overseas (others include Martinique, Île de la Réunion and French Guiana), and hosts a $100,000 Challenger every year.
According to France’s Tennis Magazine, the French Tennis Federation met last Friday to begin the process of determining where the country will host Canada March 4-6, 2016 but deferred a final decision to its next meeting December 4 to allow “an overseas candidate to propose its candidature”.
Guadeloupe league president Christian Forbin says they’re in.
“Guadeloupe will be a candidate,” he said. “We have until the end of the month to submit our proposal. It’s a fabulous opportunity to enter “l’Outre-Mer” (the French overseas – which includes the islands of St-Pierre and Miquelon in Canada) in the history of Davis Cup and I think it represents a great challenge for our president Jean Gachassin. I’m working hard for that to happen.”
Forbin said the minimum number of required seats for the tie is 4,000, but they could go higher, with Le Gosier (the site of the annual Challenger), the Baie-Mahault Vélodrome or even the René-Serge Nabajoth des Abymes stadium possible venues.
It would be the first time the French Davis Cup squad hosted overseas and the story outlines some of the challenges, but adds that new captain Yannick Noah is very much on board with the concept. It mentions that the cost could be three times that of a tie held in France, in the neighbourhood of €800,000 – in large part to ship over the terre battue France appears to have chosen as the surface for the tie.
With Indian Wells scheduled a week after the tie, it’s not a bad transit point. Right? Right?
Guadeloupe is certainly a known island destination for Canadians, especially later on in the winter. You’d have to think a few Canucks might be tempted to do a little spring-breaking there that week.