Some of tennis’ biggest names, including Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, have given their support to plans for a tennis World Cup backed by Barcelona star Gerard Pique.
Pique has met with ATP officials in Madrid to discuss the idea. Andy Murray is eager to become part of the project saying, “I’ve tried to speak to him a couple of times. We’ve exchanged messages but we haven’t actually spoken in person or on the phone about it. Doing new things in tennis is never easy, there’s always a lot of obstacles, but I think that it’s a really exciting idea. If it comes off I think it would be a very, very good thing. Tennis needs an event like that.”
However, the tournament could be of concern to the International Tennis Federation as it could become a real threat to the Davis Cup.
Leading players are increasingly showing a lack of commitment to the competition and have been frustrated by a perceived reluctance on the ITF’s part to make changes to the format.
Nadal is hoping that the proposals will encourage the ITF to make changes to the Davis Cup. A change to the singles matches format from best-of-five sets to best-of-three is expected to be approved at the ITF’s AGM this August but it is the only imminent alteration.
David Haggerty, the ITF president, is eager to move the final to a neutral venue but it isn’t a popular idea with players.
“I have had really great moments in the Davis Cup. They were unique moments. I’ll never speak badly about the Davis Cup,” Nadal said, “The ITF, it’s true that during a lot of years we have had some managers that were ruling the ITF that didn’t do anything at all. They haven’t adapted to the new days that we have today. They haven’t looked for solutions. Now there is a new president, a new council. I’m sure they will try to do things. I think that’s what we need right now.”