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Del Potro picked for Davis Cup doubles by Argentina

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PESARO, Italy (AP) Argentina picked Juan Martin del Potro to play doubles against Italy in the Davis Cup quarterfinals from Friday.

It will be Del Potro’s first tie in four years, and his first Davis Cup doubles.

Wrist surgeries have limited his appearances, but he’s finally sustained another comeback which included beating Stan Wawrinka en route to the third round of Wimbledon.

This is his first tie since the 2012 semifinals, and though he has a 12-4 record in the cup, all in singles, he was passed over by Argentina captain Daniel Orsanic, who preferred Federico Delbonis, who will open against Andreas Seppi, and Juan Monaco, playing his first tie in 2 1/2 years, in the singles.

Del Potro was paired on Thursday with Guido Pella, who made his debut in the first-round win over Poland.

Italy has returned to Pesaro’s clay, the site of its first-round sweep of Switzerland. It hopes a six-match winning streak on home soil, going back to 2009, will help carry it to only a second semifinal in 18 years.

Fabio Fognini leads the team, and will oppose his old doubles partner Monaco in the second singles.

Against Del Potro and Pella, Italy has teamed Marco Cecchinato and Paolo Lorenzi, who have never played Davis Cup doubles.

The winner meets Britain or Serbia in the semifinals.

World Cup of Tennis put on hold for at least a year

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LONDON–The International Tennis Federation is putting off its proposal for a World Cup of Tennis Finals for another year.

The ITF said last month it wanted to combine next year’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals into one event to raise the profile of the two national team competitions. But on Thursday, the governing body said it would not put the motion to a vote at its annual general meeting next month in Vietnam.

Other proposals, such as reducing the men’s matches to best-of-three sets and possibly skipping the final match of the series if it is already decided, will still go before member nations for ratification at the Aug. 4 meeting in Ho Chi Minh City.

“We promised change and are already delivering change with a significant series of reforms,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement. “Taking another year to build consensus around the World Cup of Tennis Finals will allow us to finalize an even stronger recommendation to the AGM.”

Last month, the ITF said it wanted to start staging the World Cup of Tennis in November 2018 in Geneva. The Swiss city was to host the event for three years at its 18,000-seat Palexpo.

The ITF said then that it had made the announcement of the host city well in advance in an effort to follow the successful model used by the Super Bowl and Champions League final.

But that has now been put on hold as the governing body tries to sell its idea to its voting members.

“This decision shows that we do not act unilaterally,” Haggerty said, “and are working with all our stakeholders to find the best solution for tennis.”

Haggerty also announced the creation of a World Cup of Tennis Finals task force. Board members Katrina Adams and Bernard Giudicelli have been appointed as co-chairs.

“The World Cup of Tennis Finals will unlock considerable new revenue for investing back into the sport through the ITF’s member nations,” Haggerty said. “Investment in the development of the next generation remains the priority of the ITF and its national associations.”

U.S. Open singles champions to earn record $3.7 million

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Total player compensation at the U.S. Open will top $50 million for the first time this year, with a record $3.7 million going to each of the singles champions.

The U.S. Tennis Association announced Tuesday that the total purse for the tournament will be $50.4 million, a nearly 9 percent increase from last year. The previous winners of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season – Stan Wawrinka and Angelique Kerber – earned $3.5 million.

Runners-up will get $1.825 million, up from $1.75 million.

Both the men’s and women’s doubles champions will earn $675,000, the highest in U.S. Open history. A player who loses in the first round of singles at Queens’ Flushing Meadows will make $50,000, an increase of $6,700.

The U.S. Open starts on Aug. 28.