Novak Djokovic joins many observers who have come out and criticized the new Davis Cup format which is now being held over the course of a week in one single venue for the first time. This year sees the Davis Cup announce its new format with the tournament being held from 18 – 24 November in Madrid.
Following right off the heels of the Davis Cup will be the ATP Cup which is to be held in Australia in 2 months. The scheduling nightmare is causing a lot of pressure on the players with Djokovic calling out for the tournaments to be merged.
He told reporters in Madrid that :
“Scheduling was always an issue for both the ATP Cup and Davis Cup,”
“In my opinion the idea, if it could happen, was the merge between the two and I think it’s still open for the future.”
“Looking long-term, I personally don’t think that the two events can co-exist six weeks apart. It’s just a little bit too congested.
“The most ideal time of the year is after the US Open, probably at the end of September, that would be the best time to have this super cup, whatever, one cup, hopefully in the future.”
The lose of the home/away ties that was a major attracting element of the old Davis Cup format has caused a stir in the tennis community. Players always relied on the support of their home crowd and the ability for the game to be hosted in the players home countries also brought much welcomed attention to the sport by the host nations.
Without this pull, there is concern that the sport may end up losing fans along the way.
“This kind of format change had to create some kind of sacrifice and that was probably the biggest one, which I personally as well do miss, I miss playing at home for Serbia in the Davis Cup,”
“I think maybe the ideal format is somewhere in between. Maybe creating an elite, eight-team tournament and having maybe one week or two weeks earlier in the year where nations can play at home in the qualifications group for the elite eight.” Djokovic added when commenting about what hi missed most about the old format.