Speaking from the sidelines of Wimbledon, world number one tennis star Novak Djokovic suggested an idea to attract more eye-balls in Davis Cup matches. The Serb called for a change in the Davis Cup by adapting a football-style format.
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 honour in a packed tour schedule.
The 29-year-old is due to play in the quarter-final against Andy Murray’s Britain in Belgrade from July 15-17 in the week after Wimbledon.
“I definitely stand for a change of format of the Davis Cup,” said 12-time Grand Slam title winner Djokovic. He added that the format doesn’t work anymore and it is time that the International Tennis Federation needs to rethink the schedule.
Pointing at 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, the Serb said, “Create one event in one year or two years that would be held over two weeks.”
Djoko suggested to make four groups, winners of which would go to playoffs. He said, “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 whole year, it’s a big challenge because of the schedule. You have four rounds in the best-case scenario of the World Group,” he concluded.