Davis Cup format draws criticism from ‘tired’ Lleyton Hewitt
Australian captain and former world number one says he is ‘tired’ of the revamped Davis Cup and called for change.
Hewitt’s Australian team came close to winning the competition, losing in the final to an Italian team inspired by a brilliant Jannik Sinner.
It was the fourth edition of the tournament since it was changed from its historic home and away tie format to qualifiers and a week-long finals. All four of them have been held in Spain and all four on hardcourts.
Hewitt won the Davis Cup twice as a player – once as part of the home team and once as part of the away team, with the matches played on grass and clay.
It’s fair to say, though, that he is not impressed with the current format, even if he credits the organisers for doing the most they possible could with it.
“The organization was good, they did enough with the format they have,” Hewitt said. “No five-set matches, no home and away matches, always on the same surface?
“I’m pretty tired of always competing on the same type of court, that’s not the point of competition.”
Part of Hewitt’s annoyance at the conditions and court may also stem from the fact that they so perfectly suited Italian star Sinner, who was able to beat Novak Djokovic twice on one day in the semi-finals.
Hewitt did, though, also make sure he paid tribute to Sinner’s fine performance.
“He has shown that he is one of the four best in the world at the moment,” he said. “The conditions here favour him and he came with great confidence. I am very satisfied with everything my team has done.”
Davis Cup ‘rethink’ required
Hewitt is just the latest high-profile figure in tennis to add his name to those calling for the Davis Cup to change.
The future of the event is currently up in the air after the investment group who changed the format, Kosmos, pulled out earlier this year.
For man, that presents an opportunity to get the Davis Cup back to its roots, and Novak Djokovic hopes that the players get a say in that.
“This is a competition that is played globally,” Djokovic told the press in Malaga. “It shouldn’t stay in one place more than a year.
“Everyone should have their say because so far no-one has been really communicating with us from the ITF. I don’t think we all agree. We will have probably difference of opinions, but the home-and-away ties is something the Davis Cup historically has been very famous for.
“Giving one nation to host the [Final] Eight for four years is too much. It has to travel.”
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