World No.1 Rafael Nadal has branded the proposal to change the format of the Davis Cup as a positive step forward.
Nadal, who won both of his singles matches during Spain’s 3-2 win over Germany, admits that there will be both positives and negatives relating to the plans. Back by Barcelona F.C footballer Gerard Pique and his investment company Kosmos, the ITF wants to turn the Davis Cup into a weeklong tournament. Taking place at the end of the season. Kosmos has already committed a $3bn investment over 25 years if the plans are approved later this year.
“The change that arises, whether it goes well or not, is good to be considered. If there is a change, there will always be positive and negative things.” Nadal told Spanish media on Sunday.
Opponents of the initiative have voiced concerns over the removal of home and away ties. Something that has been part of the tournament since its introduction in 1900. France’s Lucas Pouille has threatened to boycott a new-format event, Lleyton Hewitt has criticised the ITF and French Captain Yannick Noah has warned that the event will be ‘turned into a circus.’
In contrast to the sharp criticism, Nadal has taken a more measured response. The Spaniard has also labelled the removal of home ties as a ‘pity,’ but has hailed the attempt to modernise the event. In recent years, some players have argued that it has been hard to participate due to their scheduling commitments.
“If it is approved, the option to play at home is taken away and it is a pity. The revenues of our Federation are the majority of the Davis (Cup).” Said Nadal.
“With a new competition, you have already guaranteed annual money. The best players compete every year and we are all involved.
“I think it would be nice but not perfect because there is nothing perfect. This competition deserves an injection of energy.”
Regardless of what the future of the event will look like, Nadal has pledged his full commitment to the Spanish team for the rest of this year. Spain will travel to France in September for their semi-final clash. The country is seeking their sixth title in the event and their first since 2011.
“I have spoken to the captain, Sergi Bruguera and I am available to play between now and the end of the year,” he confirmed.
“I am very excited and have the highest hopes to help the team win the title,” he later added.
A vote on the proposal to change the Davis Cup format will take place in August at the annual ITF AGM meeting.