Novak Djokovic: Serbian calls for ‘Super World Cup’ tennis event

Novak Djokovic (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Novak Djokovic (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images) /

Ahead of his participation in the ATP Cup, Novak Djokovic joined calls for a merger with the Davis Cup, which was only played in November.

Novak Djokovic is excited about playing in the ATP Cup but has joined calls for a solution to be found that merges it with the Davis Cup.

Spain won the Davis Cup Finals in Madrid just six weeks ago, the competition operating under a new format after a revamp by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and his business partners in collaboration with the ITF.

Now the top nations in tennis are poised to do battle once again in the ATP Cup across Perth, Brisbane and Sydney, the first edition of a tournament which is similar to the Davis Cup, though with some differences, such as the ATP version having ranking points available to players.

Djokovic is looking forward to his participation with Serbia, who he helped to the Davis Cup quarterfinals, and thinks the competition will help his bid for an eighth Australian Open crown later this month.

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But after Canadian duo Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime this week added their voices to the calls for a joining of forces, saying it is confusing for fans and not ideal for players, Djokovic accepted something needed to change.

He also believes one competition would be the optimal outcome, which he told reporters could be along the lines of a “Super World Cup”.

"“We need to have one Super World Cup event, whatever you want to call it,” Novak Djokovic said, per AFP.“That’s not going to happen next year as well. But if the two sides, the ITF, the Davis Cup, and the ATP get together very quickly, it can happen possibly for 2022.“I hope it will happen because it’s kind of hard to get top players to commit to play both events, the Davis Cup and the ATP Cup.“And it’s six weeks apart, so they’re not really helping each other in terms of marketing, in terms of the value of the event.”"

Djokovic, along with Rafael Nadal, was one of the players to commit to both team events, though he stressed the decision was not a straightforward one to make.

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“It was not easy because I like playing in Doha,” added Djokovic, referring to the Qatar Open.

“But the ATP Cup is a new product, a new baby of ATP and I thought playing it was also kind of my responsibility being part of the players’ council.

“And I think it’s good for tennis that there is innovation, ATP is looking to innovate.”

Nadal was in agreement with Djokovic and the other players who have stressed their frustration at there being two competitions in quick succession.

Asked about a combined world championship, Nadal said: “I think that tennis deserves something like this.

“It is confusing to have two World Cups of tennis in one month. For me personally that’s not the ideal situation for our sport, but that’s how it works today.”

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Nadal and Spain go into the event as favorites and start their campaign on Saturday against Georgia.

World number one Nadal’s first matchup is against Nikoloz Basilashvili, which he said would be a “tough start” to the season and urged his teammates not to let their focus get away from that first tie of the tournament against Georgia.

Djokovic will open his campaign against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson, a battle that could be one of the best ties in the group stage.

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While fans have to wait until Day 2 to see Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, a good Day 1 card on Friday includes Stefanos Tsitsipas facing Shapovalov, while Alex de Minaur takes on Alexander Zverev and Daniil Medvedev plays Fabio Fognini.