It was better before!! A phrase that we hear very often in recent years when the famous new generation Davis Cup arrives. This week, the final phase of the prestigious team competition will take place in Malaga, where eight countries will compete to play the final that will take place on Sunday in Spain.
It might be worth remembering that the Spanish Davis Cup team failed to qualify for this Final 8 in Malaga, and that the home crowd will have to choose another favourite. Australia captain since 2016, Lleyton Hewitt, winner of the competition in 1999 and 2003, was asked about the current format. Like many, the former world number one is campaigning for the event to return to its roots.
“The No 1 thing is home-and-away ties. I have watched plenty of vision the last few years even of back in the day when I was playing, Cash, Rafter, these guys. The crowds, even me coming back here to Spain and remembering 2000. Rafa Nadal was carrying the flag onto the court in front of over 20,000 people, all booing and screaming against me, and it was still an unbelievable atmosphere that I’d want a dream of playing in. You know, that’s what the Davis Cup was about,” Hewitt said.
“So yeah, whether we played home semis and finals in Rod Laver Arena or away in France, in Nice, or obviously Barcelona, it was an unbelievable experience and some of my best memories. Some of my hardest memories, as well, but some of my very best.”
No change in the format for the Davis Cup
Unfortunately for him, the Davis Cup format is not expected to change just yet. In an interview with L’Equipe on Tuesday, the president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) David Haggerty set the record straight.
Home-away matches are not on the agenda, and the current format, even if it is not unanimously accepted by tennis fans and players alike, will remain in place for the next few years.
“We are very comfortable with this formula that we like, although we know that not all countries are fans of it. But the majority are.”