Mixed Reaction to New Davis Cup Format (Written by Emre Saridogan)
Following the hectic fortnight that was the Australian Open, there was a lull in the tennis action until this weekend, which saw the qualifiers for the first edition of the new Davis Cup format. Instead of a knockout competition that had been used for some time, the competition simply consists of a qualifying round and the main competition, which takes place at the end of the year. The new format has drawn unwanted criticism for the fact it has changed a competition that was special in the eyes of many tennis players and for the fact it was introduced by footballer Gerard Pique, who arguably should not be meddling with tennis.
A notable feature of this week’s Davis Cup action was a lack of top players participating, something which the new format has evidently failed to change. Switzerland, who went on to lose their tie 3-1 to Russia, played without Wawrinka and Federer, while Dominic Thiem’s absence hurt Austria, who lost 3-2 to Chile. Novak Djokovic also did not play for Serbia, but the world number one was not needed as his team went on to win their tie against Uzbekistan 3-2.
Other notable winners were Germany, Canada, Japan and Italy. The main event will be held in Madrid later on this year.