Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray have backed Barcelona center-back, Gerard Pique in his ‘The World Cup of Tennis’ proposal.
Pique who has been in Madrid this week to discuss his idea with the executives and players of tennis federation, has proposed a rival to the Davis Cup which will see a 16-team single location tournament being played over 10 days.
The current Davis Cup format is a three day tie with best of five set matches spread over weekends in February, April, September and November which has seen some key players in recent times refuse to turn up for the event due to the tight schedule.
Djokovic has praised the move while criticizing the International Tennis Federation.
“To see one of the football greats coming to the tennis world and trying to support it personally but also in some structural business way can only bring positives to our sport. We did talk several times.
“The tennis world is complex if I can say, because there are many different associations that have the control over certain aspects of the game or tournaments. The schedule is complicated but I’m really glad that there are people like Pique that are willing to invest their time and energy to make the game better.”
Pique adds that:
“For many years, the ITF have been static. They haven’t moved with the times or looked for new solutions.
“Pique is part of a group that wants to create a World Cup that would be a great and very interesting tournament to compete in. It would be a fantastic initiative if it pulls through and hopefully it will.”
Andy Murray, who also agrees with the proposal, said:
“I think it is a really exciting idea. If it comes off, I think it would be a very good thing for tennis. There is a lot of things that need to be worked out before it potentially happens, but I think it would be a very good thing for tennis.”
The ITF will meet on August 4 to vote on changes to the Davis Cup format with the main reform expected to be the adopting of single matches best of three rather than the best of five sets currently in use.
Written by Chineze Ogugua