By Aki Mai. Tennis. Published at Wednesday, April 11th, 2018 - 07:27:51 AM.
In addition to the loss of the home ties another minor drawback is that if this new format does what the powers-at-be hope it will there may be fewer Cinderella stories. One of the most common complaints about Davis Cup is that the top names do not participate with enough frequency. Their absence however opens the door for journeymen players some of whom rarely are able to venture outside of the Challengers or qualifying rounds to step into their shoes. Over the years fans have seen more than a few of these competitors really rise to the occasion to achieve what will be the crowning moments of their careers.
Overall this would seem to be a great plan but it is not without its drawbacks. The biggest of those drawbacks is that with the event only being staged over one week at a single venue it eliminates the advantage and atmosphere of the home ties. Squads will no longer have the advantage of selecting a surface that favors them over their opponents. Furthermore the rowdy raucous and festive home atmosphere which is so hard to replicate throughout the rest of the season will likely be missing to some degree in this new format.
It is natural to get excited about these positives but it is important not to put the horse before the cart. The ITF has not yet enacted any of the proposed changes. It is encouraging however that they did unanimously endorse the proposed changes which will be reviewed at the ITF's general meeting in August. One hopes the changes will garner approval and whatever adjustments may need to be made in the future it is fantastic to see that the ball has finally gotten rolling to start making the Davis Cup relevant in tennis once again.
Installing Black Code 4S was actually a lot less trouble than expected. Typically geometric or textured polys can be a bear for the fingers but 4S wasn't terribly onerous even though the edges were definitely noticeable. Coil memory seemed typical for a polyester but with a little care tangles and kinks were easily avoided. As with most geometric or textured polys installing crosses comes with some risk of damage due to the sharp edges. I didn't have any issues but I'd still encourage other stringers to take their time installing crosses—especially if they're blending Black Code 4S with another softer string.
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