As much as I enjoyed many of the matches in these competitions it would appear that the general consensus in the tennis world (apart from the organisers) would be to create an amalgamation of them both. Nadal has been the most outspoken on this front stating that “a deal needs to be reached between the ITF and the ATP”.
The original idea for changes to the Davis Cup were to create something that would help to encourage more of the world’s top players to take part and one of the necessary requirements would be to reduce the playing load over the course of the year. So, we now have 2 events immediately before and after the turn of the year (not to mention the Laver Cup which has grabbed a prime slot at the end of September!)
It would appear that the top players season is busier than before we had these 3 competitions and is creating very little of an off season which is necessary to help players recover, train sensibly and avoid injuries for the following season?
As a viewer, fan and tennis nut, I have enjoyed all of these competitions but we need to look at what is better for the mental & physical health of the players, not to mention the clarity of the sport itself! The Laver Cup is a one off individual event similar to golf’s Ryder cup but the Davis/ATP events would appear to be 2 similar forms of a revamped Davis Cup itself and both played within a short space of time at the end of the year! Surely it has to be what is better for the game and the players at the same time? If that is agreed then what might be a solution?
In my view I would go back to the old Davis cup format of home and away ties (many matches in both new competitions struggled to get crowds) but make it only 2 singles with best of 3 sets and a doubles to decide the outcome if required. (A great part of the new events)
Maybe being one day only it would be easier to get players to commit and doubles gets a necessary boost being the deciding match. Many of the main highlights in the new competitions were the doubles decider which could still be played even if the match is over. That way the crowd get value for money and doubles still gets some much-needed media coverage. And perhaps most importantly every match would have the special atmosphere created by any home/away tie?
I’m not sure that my idea would hold much interest in the real world of big business and competing interests of the ITF and ATP but I think it’s vital to have the discussion amongst the fans and players who I imagine could come up with something better. So….over to you to tell me that I am totally wrong and you have a better idea or maybe that you like the new events just the way they are?
The humour of Nicolas Mahut may well be lost with the organising committee of the Oz Open!
The rain falling in Melbourne at the moment will hopefully help to ease the terrible the air pollution that the city is experiencing as a result of the never-ending bush fires.
Unfortunately, the forecast for the next coupe of weeks doesn't include much rain at the moment which may mean that the tournament might suffer some serious disruption.
They do have 3 indoor courts with retractable roofs and a further 8 permanent indoor courts in the National Training Centre which is on site. These courts have been seen as a potential escape route in the event of air pollution continuing. But, when GB's Jay Clarke tried to warm up for his match in the NTC, he found the courts unusable after smoke founds it's way in through the ventilation system.
Even if 11 indoor courts were available, only 3 of them would have the necessary seating capacity required. And more importantly the health and safety of all the players must surely be a priority.
Reducing the number of events and/or making the men's singles event the best of 3 sets instead of 5 could be among the more radical options. Otherwise, I am struggling to see how this Slam will be able to go ahead.
The only hope might be that with Melbourne's weather being so unpredictable it will hopefully rain quite often and overnight only!