Federer, Djokovic Refuse To Commit To Revamped Davis Cup
There are "serious doubts about the participation of several top players" in next year’s revamped Davis Cup after it "emerged that Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic refused to commit despite being offered wild cards," according to Stuart Fraser of the LONDON TIMES. Great Britain and Argentina were announced as the "beneficiaries of the controversial new wild-card entry route," in which a four- person panel "selects two nations to bypass the qualifying round in February." It is understood, however, that Switzerland and Serbia were the "preferred choices until it became clear from Federer and Djokovic that they were still unsure whether they wanted to play" in the 18-team event in Madrid next year from Nov. 18-24. Alexander Zverev, from Germany, also confirmed that he will "not appear in the new-style Davis Cup because of its place in the schedule at the end of a long season." Zverev: "In November (after the ATP Finals), I do not want to play tennis any more. All the top guys will say the same thing." He added, "Making a tournament at the end of November, it’s crazy. By the end of the year, we are all tired." Fraser noted it will be "disastrous for the ITF" if the inaugural edition of the new Davis Cup is "missing several leading players" (LONDON TIMES, 10/11). Federer said the new Davis Cup was "not designed for me." He added, "This was designed for the future generation of players." Meanwhile, Djokovic said the timing of the Davis Cup was "really bad." He said, "I will priortise the World Team Cup because that's a competition of ATP" (AFP, 10/11).
EYEING THE CALENDAR: WTA CEO Steve Simon said his circuit "would love to have a team competition on the women’s side" similar to the Laver Cup. Simon: “The challenge with it is … we have an extremely full calendar, and I don’t want to shove an event within the calendar that has a detrimental effect on the other (events).” The WTA is “certainly open at looking at these,” but Simon wants to “make sure it is integrated within the calendar that makes sense from a flow perspective” (“Beyond The Baseline,” SI.com, 10/11).