In the midst of all the criticism which the revamped version of Davis Cup faced last month, Rafael Nadal’s coach and uncle, Toni Nadal feels the updated version of the tournament was a wise move. “I think changing the Davis Cup was good because the previous format was very tough for the best players,” Toni Nadal said.
Earlier, the tennis players traveled around the globe (throughout the year) to compete in the Davis Cup ties and simultaneously, they managed their ATP Tour schedule. Also, depending upon the venue of their matches, the surface of the tennis courts also changed in-compliance with that. Within the same tournament, the players played on different surfaces.
“They play in Miami, so they have to travel to another part of the world the following week, for example, Spain went to Australia one year on another surface. And then the following week we went to Monte Carlo playing on clay, which makes things tougher for the best players,” Toni Nadal said.
The previous format had Davis Cup ties scheduled all-part of the year and the matches were often placed in parallel to the ATP tournaments. That held up the top-players from competing in the tournament.
Sometimes, the ties were scheduled during the ‘in-between’ tournament breaks which the players had. Those breaks are utilized for relaxation and recovery by professional men. Playing competitive tennis again at the Davis Cup made the job arduous and consequently, the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ began noticing the absence of top-grade tennis players.
Hence Toni Nadal feels, the revamped version has settled the drawbacks of the tournament.
“In order to have a great tournament, you need the best players. In the previous years, Djokovic, Federer, Murray or Rafael could not play, so we needed a new Davis Cup,” he added.
In the old format of the 119-year-old tournament, during a tie, one of the teams was the host team and the players got an opportunity to play in front of their home crowd, but now that has vanished. Players stay in a city throughout the week and compete in the ‘World Cup of Tennis’.
This year’s Davis Cup had mixed reviews. The players were displeased with the late-night matches with took place until 4 am. “I don’t even know where we are, what time it is, what day it is,” U.S. captain Mardy Fish said.
“That makes big trouble for us, for the players and the people who are coming to the stadium,” Rafael Nadal reflected on the late session matches. “That makes the thing difficult. For me, that’s the only negative thing.”
Other than that, tennis followers across the world did not have a proper medium to follow in the action in Madrid, Spain.