Nadal calls for Davis-ATP combo event
Rafael Nadal has called for a truce in the tennis power struggle, with the Spaniard suggesting an amalgamation of the rival Davis and ATP Cup into one mega-event.
The world No. 2, who dropped from the top spot as Novak Djokovic won an eighth Australian Open over Dominic Thiem, may have worn himself down by competing in the November Davis and January ATP Cup before tackling the Australian Open.
He lost in the quarters to Thiem and immediately moved onto South Africa for an exhibition at the weekend with Roger Federer for the Swiss player’s children’s foundation.
“My opinion is very clear. Two competitions, team competitions, in less than a month is not good for our sport,” Nadal said in Melbourne,
“But it’s good for some players, of course, because they are able to get the higher prize money.
“I think we need to be together. We need to make something big, and one World Cup.”
The ATP Cup’s debut edition last month in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney killed off the popular Hopman Cup mixed team event in Perth, with the Brisbane joint ATP-WTA tournament reduced to only women and the dual-sex Sydney event wiped from the calendar.
Woman, including world No. 1 Ash Barty, were forced onto Brisbane back court during the first three days of their event as the ATP Cup was staging its group matches at the same venue.
Nadal, who happily competed in the revised Davis Cup run by Spanish management, was joined in support of his proposal by ITF boss Dave Haggerty, whose organisation originally sparked the conflict by selling rights for the Davis Cup for a bid of a few billion dollars over the next few decades and allowing the classic competition to effectively be reduced to a one-week shootout in Madrid.
Nadal wants to see what he calls a “World Cup” of tennis. “We’ve said one event – one big event – should be great for tennis,” Haggerty said, adding that discussions were underway with the ATP. now headed by former Italian player Andrea Gaudenzi.
“We have an ongoing dialogue because I think we need to really look at it,” .
“I think that he feels the same way. I think the players are saying that so there’s a lot of similar statements being made, so it’s now sitting down and trying to figure out how we can accomplish that.”
To complicate the logistics even further, there is now talk of trying to set up a WTA Cup for women, with no concrete suggestions on where that one might be crammed into a crowded calendar.
“The women’s version of what we talked about for the men’s side is still in the planning stages and both the players and all of our stakeholders have known that,” Tennis Australian boss Craig Tiley said.
“It is a transitional year, and any decisions we make around what you are talking about are about that transition.”
Rafa Nadal playing for Spain in their successful ATP Cup campaign
Written by Roger Parker for Grandslamtennis.online. To read more visit grandslamtennis.online