Woodforde cuts short Davis Cup career

Australian doubles star Mark Woodforde has almost certainly played his final Davis Cup match.

Australian doubles star Mark Woodforde has almost certainly played his final Davis Cup match.

Woodforde had vowed to quit Davis Cup play if Australia lifted the trophy for the first time in 13 years - which they duly did by completing their victory over France in the final yesterday.

The 34-year-old left-hander teamed up with his longtime partner Todd Woodbridge to defeat Fabrice Santoro and Olivier Delaitre in four sets on Saturday to give Australia a 2-1 lead and then watched as Mark Philippoussis beat Cedric Pioline 6-3 5-7 6-1 6-2 to seal the first Aussie triumph since 1986.

Although Sebastien Grosjean salvaged some Gallic pride by beating Hewitt 6-4 6-3 in the dead rubber the 3-2 score ensured Australia lifted the trophy for the 27th time, a record bettered only by the United States.

While Woodforde has played his last Davis Cup match, barring emergencies, he plans to partner Woodbridge in a bid to win a second Olympic gold medal in Sydney next year.

The pair also plan to play selected ATP Tour events next season, but Woodforde has decided that 12 years of playing in the Davis Cup is enough after finally earning a winners' medal.

"I'm not a glutton," Woodforde said. "It's been great playing the whole time at the Davis Cup, but I think sometimes enough is enough.

"It would be great to go out knowing that we have won as a team, give a chance to somebody else.

"Todd and I have been the backbone for so long and I would just like to see somebody else play - because that is the future. I'll be happy to hand over my spot."

Woodforde won 10 Grand Slam doubles titles in his career, including nine with Woodbridge and one with John McEnroe.

Woodforde and Woodbridge have an amazing 14-2 Davis Cup record as a pair - and are unbeaten since 1994 in Cup play.

The red-headed Woodforde made his Davis Cup debut in singles in 1988 but has a 4-10 record when playing on his own. He has been far more successful in doubles.

He has won just four singles title on the ATP Tour - including two in his hometown of Adelaide - but 59 doubles titles in a career that has seen him earn almost 8 million US dollars in prizemoney.

Woodbridge said the win over Santoro and Delaitre was especially exciting because it put the Australians on the brink of their first Davis Cup title since 1986 - after a year in which the pair has played well below their usual form.

The French pair led by a set and 5-3 and held a set point for the second set before the Australians swept back to take 16 of the last 20 games and win 2-6 7-5 6-2 6-2.

"I think for both of us it was probably one of our most rewarding victories," Woodbridge said.

"I'd never seen Mark so emotional as when we won."

Woodforde said he found the moment among the most thrilling of his career.

"How exciting is it to come back after playing crappy tennis for most of the year?" he asked. "Once we had that opportunity we grabbed it."

Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf