“I Don’t Think This Is Sustainable Model for Our Tennis”- Novak Djokovic Calls for Merger

World No.1 Novak Djokovic has dropped a hint that the reformed Davis Cup needs some rework as he calls out for merger of ATP Cup and Davis Cup in order to ‘sustain’ on the tour.

The Davis Cup was revamped last year into a week-long finals in Madrid. The ATP Cup was also created with a very similar format just eight weeks after the Davis Cup. While Nadal led Spain to clinch the Davis Cup in November, Djokovic helped Serbia to win the inaugural ATP Cup in January.

There was a need to change the format: Novak Djokovic

The 32-year-old suggested that the Davis Cup needs some repair work as the new format has eliminated the classic home-and-away format. He explained that the new format is very similar. However, there are some differences particularly something that players don’t like.

“I don’t as well personally what I don’t like with Davis Cup is you don’t have a possibility to play at home any more,” Djokovic said during the press conference in Dubai.

However, at the same time, the Serbian feels that the ATP Cup was like playing at home for them because they had tremendous support in Australia.

Also Read: Novak Djokovic Reveals Why He is Playing Doubles Tennis

There are some things that have to be different: Djokovic

“Again, it’s 10 years in Australia. It’s really difficult to call these competitions World Cups because is there no ‘world’ if you keep it in one place for 10 years,” he added.

He further explained that 99% of the nations will not have the possibility for many years to host a tie at home unless they play the qualification tie for the final seven days in Madrid.

“I understand there are changes, the need for change. Obviously, the older format had its advantages of playing home and away. There was also a lack of top players’ involvement in Davis Cup because of the scheduling weeks. I understand there was a need to change the format and I supported that,” he added.

Novak Djokovic feels that more nations should be able to host at least group stages. He suggested that he wouldn’t have 18 nations and would have the top four, final four, or elite eight.

Then have an earlier phase of the year group stages spread out, four teams for every group, hosted in five, six different countries. This will allow all these different countries to host these group stages with several teams.

“I just feel that would resonate more with me personally. I know I’ve been talking to a lot of players,” said Djokovic

Tough to expect that both Davis Cup and ATP Cup will survive: Djokovic

“It’s tough to expect that both Davis Cup and ATP Cup will survive six weeks apart. To be honest, I know it’s different because the ATP Cup kicks off the season

It is a different format of the Davis Cup which is the most historic team competition in our sport, the one that we value the most. Of course, we want to see Davis Cup living for a long time. I don’t see both of them,” the 17-time Grand Slam champion noted.

In Djokovic’s opinion, they have to merge. He explained that there have been talks about that even before the two competitions were changed into these formats that we have today. He knows there have been some extensive talks between ATP and ITF and the Kosmos group to create a solution for the future that would serve both competitions, hopefully creating one super cup.

Djokovic concluded: “I think that’s necessary because for me personally it will be very difficult to play every single year both competitions, so I’m going to have to choose. I think that’s going to be the case for many other players. I don’t think this is a sustainable model for our tennis.”

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Varun Khanna