The current Davis Cup finals format is not perfect. There is no lack of criticism. Like Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt.
last edited: November 28, 2023, 8:13 p.m
Lleyton Hewitt in Malaga on Sunday
The keen tennis fan believes he knows two things about Lleyton Hewitt: No matter what the former number one in the world does – Hewitt does it with one hundred percent commitment. And: Hewitt is a man with a great understanding of tradition. And since the introduction of the new format of the Davis Cup finals, he has not been a fan of it. And one can assume that the Australian team boss’s criticism would not have changed if the final against Italy on Sunday had gone differently, namely in Hewitt’s favour.
“There are no five-set matches, no locals, you always play on the same surface,” Hewitt lamented. “I’m pretty tired of playing on the same type of pitch. That’s not what this competition should be.”
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Now it has to be said that two of Hewitt’s three criticisms are due to nostalgia. And unfavorable circumstances. On the one hand, the top players would probably rebel if the singles were to be played over three winning sets again. No matter whether in the intermediate rounds or right at the start at the beginning of February.
Pete Sampras sinks up to his ankles
The fact that the Spanish didn’t make it to Málaga is indeed unfortunate. But it wasn’t foreseeable. Opinions can of course be divided here: Is it a strong move by the ITF to decide the venue for the final round early on (the game will also be played in Málaga in 2024)? Or should we just wait and see who actually qualifies for the last eight places?
The question of the surface, however, is exciting. Older tennis fans will remember the Russians who once watered the sandy soil in Moscow to such an extent that Pete Sampras sank up to his ankles in the mud. It didn’t help. But why not just indoors on sand (if the game is already being played in Europe)? Alternatively, Lleyton Hewitt could also imagine the best nations meeting in Australia, perhaps even on grass. But what if his team doesn’t qualify for the final round?
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