ITF Calls Meeting Of Top Davis Cup Captains

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Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.

David Haggerty ITF Tennis News

The 16 Davis Cup captains from the World Group will convene in Melbourne in the next week to discuss the proposed reforms to the scheduling of the competition’s climax and while the response is likely to mixed, world no.1 Novak Djokovic is right behind David Haggerty’s plans.

Within just three months of taking over as International Tennis Federation president, Haggerty is suggesting the final and semi-finals should be played in one week at a neutral venue. Although there is no prouder Serbian than Djokovic, his commitment to Davis Cup has been sporadic of late because of scheduling issues.

This is just the problem Haggerty is looking to overcome and Djokovic enthused: “I’m glad that they are at least considering, talking about it. This is the only official team competition that we have in sport. So why not create something that will be, you know, better for everybody?”

Djokovic has played just one tie for Serbia since leading the team in the 2013 World Group final against the Czech Republic in Belgrade when he won both his singles rubbers in straight sets only for his team to still lose 3-2.

“I am hoping for the format to change, because obviously if you look at the last five or 10 years,” he continued. “You don’t have many top players playing Davis Cup throughout the entire year because it’s just a terrible schedule.

“I mean, you can’t expect, you know, top players to participate in every Davis Cup match when it comes after every Grand Slam. You have the whole season and you play for a month-and-a-half, and then you have to play in completely different conditions.”

Defending champion Britain is resigned to losing the services of Andy Murray after the first round of their title defense against Japan because of scheduling issues after Wimbledon with the Olympic Games having to be slotted into the calendar.

Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka and Tomas Berdych have all opted to make themselves unavailable for Davis Cup selection in recent years and previous ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti was constantly being pressurized by leading players to adopt scheduling reforms.
Djokovic wants to go a step further and adopt group stages in the initial rounds of World Group competition.

Taking to reporters in Doha, he said: “Of course the downside is that the federations will complain, saying, ‘Many federations get their main income from the Davis Cups, Davis Cup ties played at home. But you can create such financial structure where you say, OK, if you create a different format that would attract more attention, that would generate more revenue. Then you can share that revenue, of course, distributed equally to the federations so everybody is satisfied.”

Copyright © 2016. No duplication is permitted without permission from Bob Larson Tennis.