Players propose tennis World Cup

MELBOURNE - A revolutionary plan for a tennis World Cup will be discussed among top players during this month's Australian Open, Novak Djokovic said in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.

MELBOURNE - A revolutionary plan for a tennis World Cup will be discussed among top players during this month's Australian Open, Novak Djokovic said in Melbourne, Australia, yesterday.

Djokovic, a member of the ATP Player Council headed by Roger Federer, said the idea for a World Cup - 32 nations playing once every two years to replace the annual Davis Cup - came from the Player Council.

Reports said the players envisaged a biennial 10-day tournament involving 32 teams, which would feature shorter matches in which players have to watch the clock between points and compulsory mid-match substitutions.

Djokovic, who is playing in the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne, said players would hold talks during the Australian Open starting on Monday that would be "crucial for upcoming years".

The Serbian star said nothing had been settled yet but that various options were on the table.

"It's all fresh and it's all ideas, we didn't decide to put anything on an official term because we have to consider other sides as well," he said. "This is the bottom line. Without sponsors there wouldn't be a tournament; without tournaments, you know, players wouldn't exist.

"But still, players are the ones who are making the show and their opinions have to be greatly considered. I think that slowly things will get better but these are things that cannot happen overnight."

Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, who is also playing in the Kooyong Classic, said the Davis Cup format was outdated.

" Maybe it was perfect 20 or 30 years ago, but now it's really too much for us - best of five sets, three days in a row - and for sure the week after you can't play, the week before you can't play," he said. "And it's a shame because I'm 100percent sure that every player would love to play for his nation." - Sapa-AFP

X