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Tennis Needs Money, Innovation But Home And Away Format Is The DNA Of The Davis Cup: Bhupathi

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Tennis Needs Money, Innovation But Home And Away Format Is The DNA Of The Davis Cup: Bhupathi: A three-billion-dollar deal is too big to ignore as authority’s target revamp of the Davis Cup but doing away with the home and away format is not ideal since it is the DNA of the competition, says India’s captain Mahesh Bhupathi.

Tennis Needs Money, Innovation But Home And Away Format Is The DNA Of The Davis Cup: Bhupathi

Tennis Needs Money, Innovation But Home And Away Format

The International Tennis Federation will put to the test a proposal to create a season-ending World Cup of Tennis, featuring 18 nations.

The matches will be played over a week at a single venue in the fabulous week of Davis Cup final in November, abolishing the home and away format forties in the elite World Group.

The idea, approving by the ITF Board of Directors, will be put to the vote in August in Orlando and needs a two-thirds majority to become a reality.

The revamp idea has come after the International Tennis Federation struck a deal with investment group Kosmos, founding and run by Spanish international and FC Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.

It is expecting to pump in USD three billion into the tournament in a 25-year period.

It is speculating that sponsors and corporate lobbies are putting pressure on the International Tennis Federation to get more top players to participate in Davis Cup.

There are instances when top players, in the wake of an already crammed schedule, have skipped ties.

Bhupathi said Davis Cup was still relevant.

Davis Cup is exceptional and all the top players have to commit to it at some point.

Like every sport, tennis needs to be driven by innovation and revenue, and if there is a three-billion-dollar opportunity there is no way it can ignoring regardless of the sentiment,” Bhupathi tells PTI.

Top players always play for their country when they are fit and healthy. A case in point is Rafa Rafael Nadal who plays even when he misses Indian Wells and Miami Masters events.

It is not about Davis Cup. If a player is injured or tired they miss the most significant events in the world as well as you saw at the London Masters few years in a row, he is arguing.

However, Bhupathi, winner of 12 Grand Slam titles, said doing away with the home and away ties are not a great idea.

It will not be ideal because playing at home and dealing with the challenges in away ties is part of the Davis Cup DNA that makes the competition exciting, Bhupathi says.

The tennis world is splitting on the issue with some of the top players such as Nadal voicing their support for it while a few like Nicolas Mahut, Greg Rusedski, and Todd Woodbridge saying it will kill the very essence of the tournament.

India’s top player Yuki Bhambri differed from his captain and said having a World Cup was not a bad idea.

It is a World Cup then yes, doing away with home and away format, is okay, Yuki, a vital member of the Indian team, says.

Everyone has an opinion. Some say it might benefit some mean it won’t. I think a lot more ATP points need to add and it always helps to increase the prize money.

Another idea can be to have Davis Cup every two or three years. Right now a country wins in November and is back in February to play the first round again,” Yuki make his point.

Former national champion Ashutosh Singh, also a former member of Indian Davis Cup squad, though was not supportive of the changes.

Tennis Needs Money, Innovation But Home And Away Format

On the one hand, The International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty says we want to popularise the sport and expanding it further, bring in more numbers but on the other hand, he proposes to take away the viewership and hosting possibilities from a majority of nations, in effect limiting its outreach. It will be the death of Davis Cup

I don’t understand why the International Tennis Federation wants to compete with ATP in every aspect.

The International Tennis Federation has a much more prominent role and an even more significant responsibility than ATP in maintaining the essence of sport.

The International Olympic Committee counts the International Tennis Federation as a stakeholder and not ATP. So, the current president wants to go opposite to what the Olympic charter says,” he asked.

He further says the money should not be a factor in every decision.

If money is what makes you happy, you will never be satisfied, as money is just numbers and numbers never end. But hopes, dreams, aspirations do crash at some point if one sees the ways blocking in front of him.

Singh is also criticising the move to limit the number of ranked players on the ATP to only 750.

The International Tennis Federation will need to co-operate with the ATP and WTA at some levels since these three bodies are responsible for governing and running the sport but if you have only 750 ranked players, the relegation and qualifying ties at zonal standards will have only amateurs representing the countries, he fears.

So, these are the points to describe the Tennis needs money, innovation but home, and away format is the DNA of Davis Cup Bhupathi.

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Dimple Gola is the Chief editor at Bollywood and the Co-Founder of ‘Chop News'. She writes about Entertainment, Youth related topics, especially on Movie Reviews and Box Office Collections.