Andy Murray believes the new Davis Cup format, set to be introduced next season, is not the right solution for the competition and that having two competing team events from the ITF and the ATP puts the players in a tough position having to choose which one to participate in.
The Davis Cup revamp plan was voted on by ITF member nations in the annual general meeting earlier this month and 71.43 per cent of the votes cast were in favour of it.
The new format will combine the multiple ties that are scattered throughout the season to one week-long event at a neutral venue, with 12 qualification ties held in February.
“I would have abstained,” Murray told reporters at the US Open when asked how he would’ve voted if he was given the chance.
“Neither are the correct solution, I don’t think — in my opinion. From pretty much every single player that I’ve spoken to, and I’ve been in players council meetings where we’ve discussed things with the ITF and stuff, is that all players love playing Davis Cup. You can’t question that. You watch the players play, the passion and how much they get out of it.
“But obviously something wasn’t working because the top players were not playing. Whether that was because of scheduling, coming immediately after the slams, things like that. Possibly because it was every single year and it was a bit too demanding.”
There are several issues with the new Davis Cup including the fact that it will be played in November at the end of a long season, and less than two months before the ATP World Team Cup that is expected to launch in January 2020. Playing the Davis Cup finals on neutral ground has also been a major gripe for many players and fans who feel the home crowd atmosphere is one of the most special aspects of the competition.
“I think there was potentially less drastic changes that could have taken place to make it better, like even keeping potentially the same format but doing it every couple of years. I’ve heard lots of different ideas and discussions that were not quite as drastic as what’s happened,” said Murray.
“I don’t think that having a week-long team event in the middle of November, followed by a week-long team event at the beginning of January, I think that’s confusing for fans. I don’t think that it makes it easy for the players to decide, like, which one’s more important. Do you play the ITF one or the ATP one. It’s not a perfect fix.
“But you have to give the decision that’s been made, you need to give it a chance to work and see. We should try to get behind it and support it and see if it works. If it does, fantastic. But if not, I believe you can always change and go back. That’s also an option.”
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