This weekend sees the ‘world cup of tennis’ start up once more for another season. It is no secret that the Davis Cup has been dwindling in popularity and relevancy for years, the reasons for which seem fairly short-term, but one wonders if the damage had been done.
Put simply, the cult of the Big Four and with it the magnification of their rivalry across the majors and other premier events has all but eclipsed the Davis Cup which rarely pits them together.
All have won the competition: the victories of Switzerland and Great Britain especially did briefly reignite interest for a few years. But so did these victories once and for all close the door on Big Name participation for this current gen.
The stakes are too high and the spoils to big on the ATP tour that there just isn’t much impetus to commit to the Davis Cup instead.
Heck, even the Olympic Games have been propelled above it, and that lukewarm event really shouldn’t mean alot in the tennis world.
The Fed Cup however is a different prospect. Some would argue that as a tour, the WTA is a weaker prospect and doesn’t pull in the punters (despite a strong and fascinating pool of competitors at the summit). For this reason people argue that more of the top players commit to the team competition.
But it is that commitment, passion and heart-on-sleeve moments that will pepper the matches this weekend regardless of world ranking and group that makes the ladies that more rewarding.
You sense a more genuine camaraderie with these players, more sense of nationality (which in itself caused fascinating inter-team spats) and an injection of personality that is addictive.
Results to come this weekend.