Davis Cup to remain annual event: ITF
Dubai, September 17
The Davis Cup is to remain an annual tournament according to tennis’ governing body in spite of complaints of an over-crowded schedule for players. The head of the International Tennis Federation ruled out a biennial cup, in the manner of golf’s Ryder Cup, but did concede at a press conference in Dubai on Tuesday that the format of three sets of six games could change eventually.
There have been persistent complaints from some players that the Davis Cup over-burdens them in an already crowded schedule.
Czech Tomas Berdych has twice won the Davis Cup with his country but earlier this year complained about its detrimental effect on his individual career. He is among those who have called on tennis chiefs to only hold the competition every two years, while other top players have suggested it needs replacing completely.
“We don’t agree with this (a biennial event) because the calendar of tennis is annual,” said ITF president Francesco Ricci Ricci Bitti. “If you take something away, it’s very difficult the year after.”
He added that the ITF would insist on two other principles for the cup – that ties be played on a home and away basis and for national associations to select their players to compete.
Ricci Bitti conceded some leading players were suffering from fatigue but said their absence was only highlighted when it was for the Davis Cup, rather than for singles or doubles tournaments.