Roger Federer weighed in on the heated debate raging over the Davis Cup revamp. While Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic seemed to applaud the new changes, Federer was a bit more cautious about the overhaul. He mentioned another initiative by the ATP in 2000 when $1.2 billion was promised to the Tour for the Masters 1000 events but never transpired because the Swiss ISL promotion firm that issued the promised funding went bankrupt.
"We've seen a similar situation way back when with the ATP Tour and it set us back in a big way," he said. "I don't want that to happen again." The ATP bounced back from the incident, but the world No.
2 wants to make sure that the funding being put forward—a whopping $3 billion from Barcelona football star Gerard Pique-led investment group Kosmos—is going to benefit the up-and-coming players. "I just hope that every penny of that mass of money will be paid for the next generation," Federer said in the press conference.
The 20-time slam champ was also critical of the way the International Tennis Federation (ITF) went about the decision. "Clearly the ITF has never historically involved the players," Fed echoed a complaint being lodged by many.
"[The solution] is definitely flawed in some ways.” The top players have had the biggest challenge participating in the punishing global schedule of the past Davis Cup format. Agreeing with Nadal, Djokovic, and others, he was happy to see some change come to the competition.
"I'm all for innovation and got to give them a chance to some extent. It will be interesting to see how it's going to work." Federer regularly participated in the tournament up until 2015, after helping the Swiss team achieve their momentous first Davis Cup trophy in 2014.
He fondly recalled his experience in the press conference. "I feel sad about it, you know, not to have the Davis Cup as it used to be. It will never be the same for the next generation," said Federer, wistfully, while at the Cincinnati Masters event.
Federer seems hopeful that the new Davis Cup can move forward, but it looks like the ITF still has plenty of spade work to do to mend fences with several players on Tour who have remained furious over the handling of the changes and feel shut out of the process.