SYDNEY (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal urged the ATP Cup and Davis Cup final organizers to consider a possible merger. It makes little sense to have two team competitions for men on the tennis calendar.
The Spaniard Rafael Nadal celebrates the final victory against the Serbian Novak Djokovic, who poses with his winner and runner-up REUTERS / Matteo Ciambelli / File Photo
The ATP Cup, which starts on Friday, provides a solid platform for 24 nations competing against each other for the first time in ten days in Perth, Brisbane and Sydney to prepare for the Australian Open.
However, the tournament takes place just six weeks after the opening edition of the revised Davis Cup, the flagship of the International Tennis Federation, which was of a similar nature and which leaves the question of whether the two can survive in the future.
"We need a super World Cup event, whatever you want to call it," Djokovic, head of the ATP Players Council, said at a press conference on Thursday.
"It won't happen next year … but if the two teams, the ITF, the Davis Cup and the ATP, meet very quickly, it could possibly happen for 2022.
"I hope it will happen because it is difficult to get top players to commit to both events." Every six weeks they don't really help each other in terms of marketing, the value of the event, etc. "
Djokovic's concern was confirmed by the world's best player, Nadal, who said it was confusing to have to play in consecutive team tournaments.
"For me personally, this is not the ideal situation for our sport, but that's how it works today and I am very excited that we can change that in the future," said Nadal, who won a fifth Davis Cup title with Spain in November.
The participating teams for the event, which also offers 750 ranking points, were determined based on the individual ranking of their best player. Six of the seven best players in the world have come to Australia apart from Swiss Roger Federer.
Federer withdrew from the event to spend more time with his family. Brit Andy Murray and Japanese Kei Nishikori are other notable injuries.
Australian Open owner Djokovic will make his ATP Cup debut for Serbia against South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday, while Nadal will face Georgia in Perth on the same day.
REVISED AUSSIE SUMMER
The $ 15 million ATP Cup no longer has room in the revised tennis calendar for the multi-gender Hopman Cup, which is popular with players and traditionally served as a warm-up round for the first Grand Slam of the year.
With games in the ATP Cup in Brisbane, Brisbane International will be a women's tournament next week, while Sydney International – one of the oldest tennis tournaments in the world from 1885 – is also missing.
The loss of Sydney proved to be an advantage for Adelaide as the city will host Adelaide International from January 12th, with Djokovic and Ash Barty, the number 1 in the women's world, to be the top draw.
ATP final winner Stefanos Tsitsipas and Wimbledon champion Simona Halep will also play in Adelaide.
Sydney, which will host both the ATP Cup knockout phase and the group stage, also has to deal with concerns that the devastating bushfire could affect the game.
Britain's team captain Tim Henman downplayed these concerns.
"When it comes to what this country is going through with the bushfires and the fact that we are struggling with a possibly poor air quality, I think there is just the right perspective," he told reporters. "I don't see it as a problem at all."
Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Additional reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Christian Radnedge