Ask tennis fans who won the past few editions of the Davis Cup and you’ll be surprised at how many are not sure. They might remember the most recent edition, but not much else.
Now ask the same people who won the past few editions of each Grand Slam. They will have a much easier time remembering the winners.
The Davis Cup is a major international tennis tournament, where countries compete to see who can come out on top. But to say that it is lower in popularity to the men’s and women’s Grand Slams is an understatement. Now the International Tennis Federation wants to make a change.
Planned Davis Cup Changes
There is some controversy surrounding the plans from the ITF to completely transform the Davis Cup. Many are accusing them of lacking transparency about the process. And some federations, such as Tennis Australia, are threatening to vote against the measures.
What is known about the plan is that an “end of season” tournament would take place. It would be an 18-country event that takes place over a single week. The idea is to generate a lot of buzz around the Davis Cup, which has been missing for much of its 118-year history.
Resistance Among Nations
Not everyone is happy about the plans the ITF is putting together to revamp the Davis Cup. Many countries are happy with how the tournament operates.
There is currently a home and away structure to the Davis Cup, which means that games take place around the world in different times of the year. It helps to create some great atmosphere at various venues.
The issue is that while those games may generate local and national interest, they do not capture the attention of worldwide tennis fans. Most people ignore the Davis Cup, unless there is an interesting country matchup.
Time to Modernize
The ITF sees these changes as a necessity. They believe that modernizing the entire format is absolutely necessary. There is no other way to generate major, worldwide interest in the competition.
While qualifying games could still retain the old format, the conclusion will be a one-week event that involves 18 countries. These are chosen based on the top 16 nations, along with two wildcards.
Top Players May Come Back
Another issue that many see with the Davis Cup is how top players will ignore their national commitments. It is understandable for the players, as they have a packed schedule full of Grand Slams and ATP/WTA events.
With an event being held at the end of the tennis year, it is possible that top stars will come back.
In fact, there are already players who are happy about the proposed changes. Both Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic were positive when they were asked about these changes. They felt it would be a way to get top players enthusiastic about the Davis Cup again.
Not everyone loves change. Some are happy with how the system works. But these proposed Davis Cup changes seem the only way for the ITF to make it a relevant and exciting tennis tournament again!