Spanish legend, Gerard Pique is confident about the £2.15 billion revamp of the Davis Cup which is funded by an investment group led by Pique’s Kosmos company. The Barcelona star feels that the new format of the Davis Cup will be a bigger hit than the ATP Cup.
The Davis Cup is the oldest international team event in men’s tennis. The revamped Davis Cup finals will be played in a new week-long World Cup-style format in Madrid in November.
The tournament will follow two singles and one double format. The six group winners and the best two second-placed teams based on sets, games, and points won will qualify for the knockout phase.
Gerard Pique compared the revamped Davis Cup with the ATP Cup, which will premiere in January 2020. He said, “It is true that maybe some people don’t see it as the best place in the calendar for us, but if you want to create a big event, I prefer to be where I am than the ATP Cup. As an athlete, you cannot start the pre-season with a big competition.”
In addition to Roger Federer, Pique faced a lot of criticism from various high-profile figures in tennis. He admitted, “A series of high-profile figures has branded the revamp as too radical and accused the International Tennis Federation (ITF) of killing the competition.”
Ion Tiriac, the president of the Romanian Tennis Federation, also raised his voice against the new Davis Cup as he wrote a letter to the governing body. He wrote, “I strongly believe that many players will not accept to play in this format and that the nationalist glamour has been lost forever.”
Pique confessed that people will not believe in him as he changed a tradition event like the Davis Cup. “I totally understand that when someone comes from another sport and if you change something that is very traditional like the Davis Cup for the better of the sport there will be some people who won’t buy it and they won’t believe in it,” Pique said.
However, he added that they will need time some time to convince them and he is confident that he will prove the critics wrong after the tournament premieres in November. He continued, “We need time to convince the people that this is the right way to go. What we need in November is to prove these people wrong. I cannot simply convince them with words.”
He further added, “What I will try to do is put in all my effort and experience from other sports. We will try to do our best to create an incredible event. I’m sure we will convince some of them, but it is impossible to convince everyone.”
Gerard Pique also sited the shortcomings of the ATP Cup which is a competition to the new format of Davis Cup. He said, “It (ATP Cup) will be the first event of the season and the Australian Open is two weeks after. As a professional athlete, you cannot start the pre-season with a big competition because normally you use it for warming up, a little bit like the Hopman Cup in the past.”
He suggested that the Davis Cup is at the end of the season and the uniqueness of playing for their country will drag the players to the event. “We are at the end of the season. Maybe for the players, it is a long season, but it is the last event and a different event because of the uniqueness of playing for your country and the atmosphere we want to create,” said Pique.
The Barcelona legend revealed their struggles to create this event. “We had so many meetings with the ATP to try to arrive at a deal to create one event or go together,” the 32-year-old age. “This is something that we are still working on. I think that both competitions have pros and cons.”
Pique further suggested the edge 0p the Davis Cup has over the ATP Cup. He said, “In the Davis Cup, we have the freedom to go elsewhere every two or for years. This is something that it doesn’t seem the ATP Cup will do because they have to be attached to Australia.”