For long now the Davis Cup has been a competition that has been overlooked by the top players of this generation, not often opting to play the event and instead focussing on the ATP 1000, ATP 500 and Grand Slams. Players generally opt out of the initial rounds and play the competition only if their country reaches the last 4 or the finals, something that doesn’t do justice to a competition which has so many emotions going for it.
The ITF recognises this problem and hence in order to attract top talent it decided to bring down the Davis Cup matches from best of five rubbers to best of 3 rubbers, but Rafael Nadal believes that that is not the right way to go about it.
“In my opinion it is not about best-of-three or best-of-five,” he said. “In my opinion, it’s about we cannot have a Davis Cup champion every year,” Nadal said.
“That devalues the competition. If the top players are not playing very, very often, then you are making something not good.”
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He said that the ITF has a very myopic view of the Davis Cup, being content with the top players making an appearance in the finals, something that does not do justice to the Davis Cup. He believes that the Davis Cup shouldn’t be happen every year, and it should take the Olympic way, wherin a Champion is crowned every three years or so.
“Davis Cup is a beautiful competition, a very emotional competition,” he said. “To maintain that level of emotion, that level of quality of tennis, you need to do the things for the best players. And the best players need to feel comfortable playing every time that Davis Cup is going.”
“I don’t mean one year Davis Cup, one year no Davis Cup,” he said. “I mean, for example, two ties per year. That will be something reasonable and players will be very motivated to play Davis Cup.”
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“You know, you finish Davis Cup, last tournament of the year, December, and then in January you start again. And it’s tough.”
Rafael Nadal’s Spain take on Novak Djokovic’s Serbia in the Davis Cup quarterfinals in April, and while Djokovic could be leading Serbia, Nadal has hinted that they may opt out in order to get ready for the clay season.
“I cannot say if I will be there or not, but it’s obvious that the moment of the season is not a good one for me, because I need to prepare myself for clay,”
Nadal has presented us with a very novel idea of making the Davis Cup a huge event and if the ITA takes heed of his suggestion, we could be in for some great tennis at Davis Cup