Gerard Pique of all people! What an odd would-be-saviour of the Davis Cup. The unlikely solution to one of tennis’ most frustrating dilemmas.
It is no secret, the Davis Cup holds little of the prestige it has commanded over most of it’s existence. The proliferation of the tour rankings, the money now involved in the game and the record-chasing that spurs on the very best means that the competition just cannot get the fans or the players excited or in some cases committed enough to still matter.
This proposed revamp of the format to a ‘world cup of tennis’ brings with it some mixed feelings. It is going to be more successful, no doubt. And for that it will be a success, but at what cost?
The loss of tradition is the biggest and most obvious disadvantage here. The loss of a home and away tie, for multiple global opportunities to see (some) of the world’s best would be taken away too. The competition would lose also it’s grassroots nature, an FA-Cup-esque sense of mystique and magic.
Finally, the tour finals would lose some of their stature as end of season grand finale.
But, that last point especially is moot, this competition does deserve it’s pedestal and it does deserve to be celebrated again.
Barring any end of season injuries (likely) this would be a refreshing change of pace and a chance for the players to let out some feeling after a gruelling season, and when national pride is at stake, there is no emotion more infectious.
Let’s hope the powers-that-be embrace and endorse this radical and daring but essential rebirth.