IPTL and 'traditional' tennis can co-exist: Carlos Moya
The innovative rules and format of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) may have struck a chord with the Asian fans, generally starved of top-level action, but former World No.1 Carlos Moya believes the 'traditional' sport will stick to its conventional rules, though the inaugural tournament will 'co-exist' and thrive alongside the existing order.
New Delhi: The innovative rules and format of the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) may have struck a chord with the Asian fans, generally starved of top-level action, but former World No.1 Carlos Moya believes the 'traditional' sport will stick to its conventional rules, though the inaugural tournament will 'co-exist' and thrive alongside the existing order.
"Top players are trying out different things but tennis is a traditional sport. But ATP and IPTL have their respective places in tennis and can co-exist together," Moya, coach of the Manila Mavericks playing in the ITPL told IANS on the sidelines of the Delhi leg of the competition.
The clay-court specialist, however, gave a thumbs up to the tweaks the compeition has introduced into the game said the concept is 'exciting'.
Spain's former Davis Cup captain, Moya, was dragged into a controversy two months prior to his new coaching role when, after his resignation from Spanish duty, ex-female tennis star Gala Leon was named as his successor.
It's been over two months since her appointment erupted into a huge controversy and Moya said the tennis authorities could have avoided a needless controversy by taking the players into confidence before appointing her.
"I think the players are upset with the way the appointment was made," he said.
"Their grouse is they came to know of her appointment through the media, not from the Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) beforehand. That way it could have avoided the controversy."
The surprise move triggered off a huge countrywide controversy with several former and active Spanish players and coaches disapproving it.
One of the worries expressed by Rafael Nadal's uncle and coach Tony Nadal was her facing a "logistical" problem in entering a men's locker room.
Leon was quick to point out that she would simply "knock on the door" to make sure players were clothed before entering, adding that she was not there to create a sexist debate but to bring back the Davis Cup to Spain.
She is the fifth woman to coach a Davis Cup side, according to the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and her appointment comes in the wake of female coaches getting into the hitherto men's domain.
Andy Murray hired former Grand Slam champion Amelie Mauresmo of France as his coach earlier in the year, and then the popular NBA team San Antonio Spurs brought in former Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Becky Hammon as an assistant coach.
Moya said there was no urgency to take the decision as Spain's next Davis Cup tie was some seven months away in July. He quit the national team when they were relegated from the elite World Group for the first time in 18 years after a playoff loss against Brazil.
"I feel there was no rush. Our next tie is in July. The federation, maybe, could have talked to the players, taken their inputs," the former World No.1 said.
"The federation should have taken a note of what they think. The players are the best judge to tell if she is up to the job."
Spain will compete in Europe/Africa Zone Group I for the first time since 1996 and will face either Russia or Denmark in the second round after receiving a bye in the first round. Spain have won the competition five times in the last decade.
The 38-year-old also spoke of his belief that the injured Nadal will return to action next year a lot fitter. He shot down suggestions that it was difficult for the left hander to return to his Grand-Slam winning glory days following a series of injuries.
"We will have Nadal for at least three-four years at the top level. I am sure of that," the 1998 French Open champion said.