Davis Cup to remain annual event: ITF chief

Tue Sep 16, 2014 9:31am EDT
 
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By Matt Smith

DUBAI (Reuters) - The Davis Cup will remain an annual tournament despite persistent complaints from some players that it over-burdens an already-crowded schedule, the head of the sport’s governing body said on Tuesday.

Roger Federer was roared on by a capacity 18,000 crowd on Sunday as he helped Switzerland beat Italy to reach the final of the top team event in men’s tennis for the first time since 1992.

The Swiss will play France, who trounced defending champions Czech Republic, in November.

Yet earlier this year, Czech double Davis Cup champion Tomas Berdych bemoaned the event’s detrimental effect on his individual career and called for it be a biennial event, like golf’s Ryder Cup.

Other top players have suggested replacing it altogether.

"We don’t agree with this (a biennial event) because the calendar of tennis is annual - if you take something away, it’s very difficult the year after," Francesco Ricci Bitti, President of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), told a news conference in Dubai.

He said the ITF would insist on two other principles for the Cup - that ties be played on a home and away basis and for national associations to select their players to compete.

Bitti conceded some leading players were suffering from fatigue but said their absence was only highlighted when it was the Davis Cup, rather than singles or doubles tournaments.   Continued...

 
International Tennis Federation (ITF) President Francesco Ricci Bitti of Italy speaks during a news conference at a hotel in Bangkok September 23, 2011. REUTERS/Chaiwat Subprasom