Published at Friday, March 16th, 2018 - 01:51:40 AM. Tennis. By Aki Mai.
But with all due respect to these cons there are too many pros for the ITF not to move forward with these proposed changes. There is no denying that Davis Cup has becoming increasingly irrelevant in a crowded calendar and that is a result in large part to the lack of consistent star power. The established elite can hardly be blamed for not wanting to commit to multiple ties though particularly given that they do not know where or on what surface they will be played. By reducing the Davis Cup to a single week players will now know where and when they will be expected to compete and when factoring in travel and preparation it will also ultimately require less of a commitment of their valuable time than the current format does. It is a recipe that must look more enticing to the biggest names.
Both of those solutions boil down to money. Naturally for many in a 128-player draw that first round prize money is a big deal which is why they will show up to play even if they go in knowing they are unfit and may have to pull the plug mid-match. As a concession to that driving factor players will now be allowed to collect fifty percent if they withdraw after noon on site on Thursday but before the main draw begins. Coupled with this players who are knowingly unfit to play and still opt to compete could face a fine up to the total amount of their first-round prize money if they fail to finish the match or “perform below professional standards.” Together these two rules should encourage players to make the smart choice and subsequently improve the overall optics of the sport.
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