Published: Sun, November 18, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

ATP Cup best way to kick-start season: Djokovic

ATP Cup best way to kick-start season: Djokovic

It will be exciting, ' said the Swiss tennis player on the change of date for the Silver Bowl (Davis Cup) for 2019.

The ITF has announced plans for a revamped 18-team Davis Cup, which would be held every November from 2019, after joining forces with an investment group led by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.

Teams from 24 countries will feature in the ATP Cup, which will be held at the start of the season across 10 days in Australia. We know from our extensive discussions with the players that the ATP Cup will provide a great way for them to open their season.

The six-week gap between the ATP Cup and the Davis Cup was earlier this year labelled "insane" by Kermode, and on Wednesday Djokovic suggested it would result in "two average events".

"You can have multiple team events, that's not the issue", ATP president Chris Kermode said.

The first two editions of the new format will be held in Madrid in '19 and '20. While Doha will stay in place at the same time, to offer ranking point opportunities to players who are not in the ATP Cup, the event in Pune, India, will move to the week after the Australian Open. The Davis Cup has an incredibly rich history and the players will want to participate in the fight, despite the new modifications, he said. We dream of getting the colour of our countries on our tracksuit and going out on the court and playing for teams rather than ourselves", he said, "We are part of an individual sport so for the majority of the time we are playing at an individual event.

The 2020 Aussie Open will be pushed back one week to make way for a new ATP Cup team event.

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"The issue is timing, being so close, I get that", said Kermode after the video had run.

"It's not an ATP land grab or anything like", Kermode added.


The rival events have put the ATP, which runs the men's Tour, and tennis's world governing body on collision course.

Several leading players, including Djokovic, have questioned the timing of the ITF's flagship event, coming at the end of a gruelling 11-month season and Germany's Alexander Zverev said this week he would not play in the showpiece finals. "This is us promoting big events in which we can attract new audiences".

"Australia is a country that has a Grand Slam, that nurtures tennis tradition". I'm very, very sure that a lot of top players will not play.

Tennis Australia CEO, Craig Tiley added: "This is an fantastic opportunity, in close collaboration with the players and the tour, to deliver a globally impactful event that further elevates the sport and the fan interest in it".

"Even if the ATP Cup didn't exist, the Davis Cup still doesn't have a week [during the regular season] which is the issue".

Next year's new-look Davis Cup finals will be held in Madrid, featuring 18 teams, from Nov 18 to 24.

The format of the ATP Cup will see nations split into six groups, with eight teams emerging from the round-robin stage to compete in the knockout phase until only one team is left standing.

Qualification for the tournament will be based on the highest ATP ranking of the number one singles player from each country.

"We want to keep growing tennis, give the players an environment where they can perform to the best of their abilities and then ensure they are appropriately appreciated and rewarded".

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