Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Oz Davis Cup captain slams new format

Oz Davis Cup captain slams new format

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Lleyton Hewitt, the Australia Davis Cup captain. AFP

Oz Davis Cup captain slams new format

AUSTRALIA Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt has slammed Barcelona football star Gerard Pique over the tournament’s controversial new format, saying it is “ridiculous” and would hurt the sport.

Under a plan proposed by Pique’s investment group Kosmos and adopted by the International Tennis Federation, the competition will bring together 18 nations for a week at the end of the tennis season for a championship finale.

The 119-year-old Davis Cup competition is currently structured around a 16-nation World Group, contested over four weekends during the year. The remaining countries are then divided into three regional zones.

“I haven’t been a supporter since they first flagged the possible changes,” Hewitt said ahead of Australia’s Davis Cup qualifier against Bosnia and Herzegovina in Adelaide starting on Friday, Adelaide’s the Advertiser newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“I think it really hurts Davis Cup . . . In terms of the structure and format in going into the finals I don’t agree at all with it.

“I think having the finals in one place is ridiculous. I personally don’t think all the top players will play.

“Now we’re being run by a Spanish football player . . . that’s like me coming out asking to change things for the Champions League – it’s ridiculous.”

Hewitt has previously slammed the new-look competition as a “money-grab” that would ruin the historic event, with other Australian tennis legends including Rod Laver and John Newcombe also opposing the reforms.

Kosmos have promised the International Tennis Federation up to $3 billion in prize money over the next quarter-century.

Major players feel that a big event in late November combined with one in January before the Australian Open will mean too much tennis and too little rest.

Roger Federer has said his chances of playing in the condensed Davis Cup were all but non-existent, while Novak Djokovic has said he will give precedence to the ATP’s intended re-launch of the defunct World Team Cup in January 2020 at various Australian venues.

MOST VIEWED

  • Joy as Koh Ker Temple registered by UNESCO

    Cambodia's Koh Ker Temple archaeological site has been officially added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, during the 45th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on September 17. The ancient temple, also known as Lingapura or Chok Gargyar, is located in

  • Famed US collector family return artefacts to Cambodia

    In the latest repatriation of ancient artefacts from the US, a total of 33 pieces of Khmer cultural heritage will soon return home, according to the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts. In a September 12 press statement, it said the US Attorney’s Office for the

  • Tina rebuffs ‘false claims’ over falling paddy price

    Agriculture minister Dith Tina has shed light on the trade of paddy rice in Battambang – Cambodia’s leading rice-producing province – in a bid to curb what he dubs a “social media fact distortion campaign” to destabilise the market. While acknowledging that the prices of paddy

  • Kampot curfew imposed to curb ‘gang’ violence

    Kampot provincial police have announced measures to contain a recent spike in antisocial behaviour by “unruly’ youth. Officials say the province has been plagued by recent violence among so-called “gang members”, who often fight with weapons such as knives and machetes. Several social observers have

  • Cambodia set to celebrate Koh Ker UNESCO listing

    To celebrate the inscription of the Koh Ker archaeological site on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, the Ministry of Cults and Religion has appealed to pagodas and places of worship to celebrate the achievement by ringing bells, shaking rattles and banging gongs on September 20. Venerable

  • PM outlines plans to discuss trade, policy during US visit

    Prime Minister Hun Manet is set to meet with senior US officials and business leaders during his upcoming visit to the US for the UN General Assembly (UNGA), scheduled for September 20. While addressing nearly 20,000 workers in Kampong Speu province, Manet said he aims to affirm