By Romi Cvitkovic
UPDATE 2 (March 14, 2013 – 5:30PM): USTA and Sportska Centrala are working together to sort through this media credential miscommunication. Full update here.
UPDATE 1 (March 14, 2013 – 12:10AM): Tim Curry, spokesperson for the USTA, just tweeted the following statement: “Contrary to reports there are multiple Serbian outlets credentialed for Davis Cup quarterfinal in Boise.” Will update further as needed.
March 13, 2013 — With Novak Djokovic joining team Serbia, and Jim Courier set to announce the US team of John Isner, Sam Querrey, and Bob and Mike Bryan, the Davis Cup quarterfinal scheduled for next month in Boise, ID is boasting a nearly sellout crowd. But at what price to visiting Serbian journalists?
According to Alex Krstanovic, cheif editor at Sportska Centrala, a media credential request for his reporter Nebojsa Petrovacki was made to the USTA by the March 8th deadline. Petrovacki has reported for Sportska Centrala for more than ten years and covered dozens of ATP and WTA events, and is currently at the BNP Paribas Open as a credentialed media member.
Despite the qualifications, the USTA responded today with the following statement: “It is with great regret that we are unable to accommodate your request(s) for media credentials for the 2013 Davis Cup quarterfinal tie in Boise, Idaho. Unfortunately, we have received more requests than we are able to accommodate at this time.”
The issue is not in the denial of the request itself, as media centers tend to fill up fairly quickly for popular events like these; the issue is in the very limited number of spots open for Serbian media at this event.
According to the Serbian Tennis Federation, only one Serbian journalist and one Serbian photographer have been credentialed for the USA-Serbia Davis Cup tie next month. Given this staggering confirmation, the denial of Petrovacki’s request becomes all the more bizarre as he would have only been the SECOND Serbian journalist at the event.
In unique fashion, it’s difficult to grasp that the USTA could not allocate more than one seat for Serbian media in its entire press room and arena. Regardless of how many Serbian media members actually end up covering the event, a few select spots (let’s say 5, at the very least) should have been held open for the visiting country’s media.
When Novak Djokovic won the U.S. Open in 2011, the media room was booming with Serbian press, and rightfully so. Imagine if the Serbian press had been limited that day to only one journalist and one reporter — there would have been immense backlash. And while it’s obvious that the USTA welcomes the Serbian Davis Cup team members, the same can’t necessarily be said for their “welcome” of the Serbian media.