Lille – At the beginning of the final Davis Cup final in its historical form, the revised version of the team competition is already undermined by the threat of a devaluation of the best players and the competition for a comparable event revived by ATP.
When the Davis Cup reform went on, his lawyers explained that it was based on two pillars: regain support from the best players who tend to turn when competition is on their list and ease a schedule very busy.
But just over three months after the adoption of the International Association of Teeth (ITF), its foundation has already been weakened.
The best players' participation so far is not certain.
Novak Djokovic? "Not sure", answered the world N.1 at the beginning of October in Shanghai Roger Federer?"I strongly doubt it", the Swiss released $ 20 in Grand Slam at the same time. Raphael Nadal? Yes, to believe in the Spanish football game Gerard Pique ("If he is not hurt, he will be there"), which stands for the project partner Kosmos Investment Fund in collaboration with ITF. The condition – and it is not thin – that mallorcan can play at this stage of the season, who has ended the last two on the knee bottom.
– The date was criticized –
These doubts have been sufficient to change ITF's rhetoric in recent weeks towards the new generation.
Its prime face, Alexander Zverev, will it be? No, definitely. "Because in November I do not want to play tennis anymore", launched the young German, N.4 world and then won the champions of his career's most prestigious trophy, at 21 years old.
And this is the main criticism that the players thank for ITF: the date chosen, at the end of November, unless rebound, in Madrid. At the same time as the current Davis Cup final. In addition to instead of mobilizing a dozen players, the new format, a competition week bringing together eighteen nations, will add extra time to much more after a trial season.
"I think the date of the Davis Cup is really bad, especially for the best players"says Djokovic.
And last week's great presentation of the ATP Cup, a revised version ofWorld Team Cup"Abandoned after 2012, and restarted in Australia at the beginning of the season from January 2020, has further closed the ITF horizon. Read the perspective since 2019-early 2020 of two races of teams of comparable sizes just six weeks apart.
– "Not the Davis Cup"-
The more dangerous because ATP, who has put on the table an attractive $ 15 million and points (up to 750), can count on Djokovic, Federer and other visible support.
On the ITF side, in this sensitive context we play appeasement and pedagogy.
Its President David Haggerty repeated Thursday from Lille that his organization was "open for discussion", especially for a possible change in positioning in the calendar, that it was not allowed"unilaterally"and preferred to do so in consultation"with the tennis world"if appropriate.
He added that ATP could even "to be involved"in Davis Cup 2.0, in a way"to be determined"Without saying more, the discussions are"underwayAnd insisted that it wasthe money to develop next-generation players at the heart of this reform".
"Many players support the Davis Cup, some may not want to play it, but we are convinced"said Haggerty.
On the side of the French players we feel fluent. "It is not peaceful, not clear, not yet well established"said Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Pierre-Hugues Herbert, like many French players, no longer sees the core of the Davis Cup. "I feel like playing lately. What makes this competition is home-to-meetings, with crazy atmospheres. To find it in Madrid I do not think so. It can be a big success, but it will not be the Davis Cup."