Djokovic Suggests Football-Style Format for Davis Cup

Novak Djokovic wants the cup to be held over two weeks like the Euros.

2 min read
Novak Djokovic won his 30th consecutive Grand Slam match. (Photo: AP)

World number one Novak Djokovic called for a football-style Davis Cup to help keep the 116-year-old tournament alive.

Djokovic inspired Serbia to its only Davis Cup triumph in 2010 but has, in common with many other top players, carefully selected which ties he will play in a packed tour schedule.

The 29-year-old is due to play in the quarter-final against Andy Murray’s Great Britain in Belgrade from July 15-17 in the week after Wimbledon.

I definitely stand for a change of format of the Davis Cup. The format, as it is, doesn’t work anymore.
Novak Djokovic 
Djokovic in action at the Wimbledon. (Photo: AP)
Djokovic in action at the Wimbledon. (Photo: AP)

Djokovic wants the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to rethink the schedule. He pointed to the success of football where the World Cup and European championships are organised in group stages and played at one specific time of the year. Djokovic said:

Create one event in one year or two years that would be held over two weeks. Make four groups, winners of all groups go to playoffs. Create it really attractive, not just for us tennis players, but for fans, for media, for everybody, for sponsors.

Djokovic played in this year’s first round win over Kazakhstan, taking part in three of the five rubbers over the weekend. He has played 23 ties since his 2004 debut but skipped the 2012 and 2014 seasons.

Throughout the year, it’s a big challenge because of the schedule. You have four rounds in the best case scenario of the World Group. The best match in terms of schedule for a top player is the first one. Every match after that you need to play after either a Grand Slam or after a season finale. 
Novak Djokovic

He added:

I think we do need to create a radical change because if we continue having this kind of format, it’s not going to be good for players. 
Novak Djokovic with tennis legend Rod Laver. (Photo: AP)
Novak Djokovic with tennis legend Rod Laver. (Photo: AP)

Djokovic Beats Rod Laver

Novak Djokovic reached the third round of Wimbledon on Wednesday by winning his 30th consecutive Grand Slam match, beating the modern day record of Rod Laver and putting him just behind the all-time record of 37 by Don Budge set in 1938.

The top seed, who is bidding for a third consecutive title at the All England Club and fourth in all, defeated Adrian Mannarino, who was celebrating his 28th birthday, 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (7/5).

The record that I managed to break today is one of the better ones because as a professional tennis player, you always aim to play your best in Grand Slams. Knowing that I won 30 in a row, it’s very pleasing. I want to keep on going. Let’s see where it takes me.

( With inputs from PTI.)

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