Haggerty Wants An Open-Mind Involving Davis Cup And Fed Cup

Notice: Undefined variable: page_title in /home/tennisne/public_html/wp-content/themes/dante-child/single.php on line 205

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

The new president of the International Tennis Federation David Haggerty of the USA has a lot of labor to do. Haggerty has been working hard for years, being the senior-level posts at Dunlop and Head, and became the USTA president. Now he will move to London soon, where the ITF offices are located.

Now, Haggerty has a big challenge ahead – possibly convincing the board of directors that the Davis Cup and Fed Cup would change it and bring in a Final Four format. Currently, only the two top countries are facing off in the final.  However, the Fed Cup has done it before, when four teams played each other in Las Vegas in 2000, when the USA won, but there was a sparse crowd.

However, the current players are thinking about it, as are the board of directors.

“I think we need to look at different possible formats and what I like about the Final Four is you come to one city,” he told TeamUSA.org . “You can bring tennis to parts of the world where maybe they don’t see professional tennis as much. We know what it means here in the United States in terms of NCAA basketball, so I think it can be very exciting for fans, spectators, television broadcasts, sponsors and the players themselves.

“In Fed Cup, our women’s competition, we have eight teams that participate in the world group. In men’s, we have 16. I think that by having this sort of a concept it would allow us to increase the world group for women to the same as men, 16 teams. I think that would be very powerful as well and help represent the sport even more.”

While the women Fed Cup have been able to make it work by playing in a week’s time, the men aren’t sure whether they are ready to play four teams in a week. Right now, the men use three out of five sets in the Davis Cup. If they decided to use a Final Four, then it’s possible they might play four matches in three out of five sets in singles, which is difficult, but on the Grand Slams, they also use three out of five, and in the second week, they might play four matches if they reach into the final, starting on Monday, playing on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday (round of 16, quarterfinal, semifinals and final). However, they also could play doubles (which is also now three out of five sets), which means that in the Davis Cup, if they are competing in one week, they would have to play every day except for one day, Thursday.

According to Haggerty, in Davis Cup, the players and the board directors could think about moving to two of three sets.

“That could be one possibility. The first three days you play the first Davis Cup tie, you have a day of rest, and then you play the second,” he said. “The men and the women are used to playing two-out-of-three (on tour) and they can play consecutive days without a problem. In the Grand Slams, it’s three-out-of-five (for men). We just decided at this recent general assembly to go a fifth-set tiebreaker in Davis Cup rather than playing it out. This is one of those things that could be controversial, going to two-out-of-three sets. I don’t want to jump the gun and say that’s where we go, but we’ve got to be open-minded. We’ve got to think about what’s best for the spectators, for the fans, for the players and for the property and that will help guide our decision-making.”

Copyright © 2015. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.