(Reuters) - Germany’s Davis Cup captain Carsten Arriens was booed and jeered by home fans in Frankfurt on Sunday despite leading his team to an emphatic 4-1 defeat of five-times champions Spain.
A hero the previous day after his decision to partner Tommy Haas and Philipp Kohlschreiber in the doubles rubber worked a treat, Arriens was left to face the wrath of the fans in the Fraport Arena after only one of the dead rubbers was played.
Having built a 3-0 lead in the first two days of the World Group first round tie, Haas, Kohlschreiber and Florian Mayer were all ruled out with various injuries on Sunday.
It meant fans who paid as much as 65 euros ($87.66)for Sunday tickets were left with only a meaningless match between Daniel Brands and Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who afterwards admitted he had “zero motivation” during his 7-6 6-4 defeat.
Kohlschreiber, who won two points for his side over the weekend, gave Feliciano Lopez a walkover while Haas, who hurt his shoulder at the Australian Open, had already made it clear that he would not play singles in the tie.
Mayer also hurt his shoulder beating Lopez on Friday.
“It felt more like a defeat,” Arriens, who was doused in champagne the day before, told a news conference after his attempt to explain the situation on court to fans after Brands’ victory was drowned out by a chorus of boos.
“I could understand the crowd’s reaction but I was surprised it was that bad. It was a very difficult situation because they were all injured and there was nothing I could do.
“It’s truly not what we wanted but Tommy’s fitness was questionable the whole week and even the doubles was in the balance. And ‘Kohli’ had two long matches which cost a lot of power and he also has to contend with a painful arm.
“I really do not know what I would have done if it had been 2-1. I just hope that the great Friday and Saturday will be remembered by all the fans.”
Germany will face France away in the quarter-finals in April.
($1 = 0.7415 euros)
Writing by Martyn Herman; editing by Josh Reich