No plans to reform Davis Cup: Francesco Ricci Bitti
The Davis Cup has its flaws, but it is still one of sport`s great events and there are no plans to radically alter it, ITF chief Francesco Ricci Bitti said on Saturday.
Paris: The Davis Cup has its flaws, but it is still one of sport`s great events and there are no plans to radically alter it, ITF chief Francesco Ricci Bitti said on Saturday.
Speaking in Lille ahead of the France-Switzerland Davis Cup final doubles, the International Tennis Federation president said that changes to the Davis Cup had been considered in the past to no avail.
"We know tennis has changed. But we are the institution. We represent the basic value of the sport," the Italian said.
"Then we have to protect what is the value that we believe is vital for the progress of our sport, in spite of the evolution.
"It`s clear the calendar is busy. It`s clear that the players have a more demanding season. It`s clear we have to accept that some people are not participating.
"In any case, the value that Davis Cup brings to many nations is vital for the development of the sport, more than many other activities."
The format and timing for the Davis Cup has been a heated subject of debate in tennis circles for the past few years, with many of the top players calling for changes.
This year`s final saw the issue raised again with Swiss superstar Roger Federer injuring his back last weekend playing in the ATP World Tour finals.
There are clashes also with World Group first round ties that are played in the week preceding the Australian Open and the semi-finals which come hard on the heels of the US Open.
Asked if it would not be better to stage the Davis Cup in a three-week time-slot in the one place, similar to the football World Cup, Ricci Bitti replied: "The first point is the three weeks.
"The second week is home?and?away is very rooted in our competition. If you provide me three weeks in the calendar now, perhaps I can consider it. But three weeks are not available, in general.
Ricci Bitti, however, did not rule out some cosmetic changes to the Davis Cup format, mentioning that he favoured starting the tie-break at 4-4 instead of 6-6 as at present.
"In my opinion, as a business?oriented man, the peak of the attention of spectators is the end of the set. If you have more ends, it works better," he explained.