It is almost a year on since I first tackled the subject of Davis Cup and the changes we are about to witness. The new-look Davis Cup will start in Madrid on Monday. I wasn’t very pro the change initially, do I feel the same now on the eve of the event?
I am still pretty sceptical about it. The investment group behind it, Kosmos, whose founder is Gerard Pique made me dubious when I found out. I am not Barcelona’s biggest fan so maybe that clouds my judgement even more, which is obviously unfair.
I remain quite old skool on these matters in my defence. I grew up in an era when Davis Cup was seen as a very important trophy/competition and its glamour was the home and away ties with partisan, sometimes problematic and unsportsmanlike crowds. Pure patriotism. It made for great viewing with players riding the waves of emotions and you feel that this uniqueness now simply has to be lost, with the event being played over one week in Spain.
I think that on the flip side, you could argue that some of this seems to have been lost of late in the competition and maybe it does need a revamp. There are plenty of people who would disagree with that but if I am being balanced there is an argument for this side. You could argue that players can commit to this going forward for a week a lot easier than at scattered stages during the season. Nadal, Djokovic and Medvedev are all down to play this year.
With the ATP Cup also starting next year and the possibility of that joining forces with the Davis Cup, it makes for some very interesting observations over the next few months. It would probably only be fair to start having a true opinion after we have given this a chance and seen what it has to offer. From a British tennis point of view, I agree with Murray, having Tim Henman (plenty of Davis Cup memories with this lad) involved in the ATP Cup is a huge bonus for us. I am sure other countries will benefit from similar situations.
The truth is we don’t like change and maybe we are right to be like that on this occasion. I have slightly moved on from a year ago though and I am willing to give this a chance in Madrid and see what it brings with it. It is a big moment for the sport in terms of representing your country and the importance it will carry going forward. The Davis Cup has always been historic. Will it stay like that? Defo key moments.
Andy Del Potro.