Why would tennis need a world cup when they have the Davis Cup is not doubt the question tennis traditionalists will ask.
The Davis Cup was conceived in 1899 at Harvard University and started back in 1900 as a competition between Great Britain and the United States, but over the years it has expanded and now includes 134 nations.
The current format sees the world’s 16 best national teams assigned to a “World Group” and compete annually for the Davis Cup. Those nations which are not in the “World Group” compete in one of three regional zones, the Americas, Asia/Oceania, and Europe/Africa. The competition is played over four weekends during the year. Each elimination round between competing nations is held in one of those two countries. The ITF determines who the host countries are for all possible matchups before each year’s tournament.
However it is believed that the players on the ITF Tour feel that the format is out of date. Those who take part love the concept of playing tennis for their country, but feel that some players do not give the competition the respect it deserves, by making themselves unavailable.
With both Federer and Nadal being avid football fans it is believed that they are pushing for a World Cup tournament, still called the Davis cup, which can still be held every year, but which will be a fortnight event featuring teams from various countries in one venue.
The idea being that the current calendar could be modified to fit such an event in, and it would also mean that Tennis could be taken to countries outside of those at which the major tournaments are played. For example Croatia and Serbia, who met in this year’s Davis Cup, even to Nadal’s home country of Spain and Federer’s Switzerland.
The concept could really give tennis a boost in countries where the sport does not have as strong a profile, but apparently the ITF feel that the current format serves the sport adequately and there is no need to change. Would you like to see a World cup style event? Let us know.