David Haggerty: 'Davis Cup and ATP Cup could work together'

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David Haggerty: 'Davis Cup and ATP Cup could work together'

One of the biggest stories in the world of men's tennis during 2018 has been the struggle between the leading organizations of our sport! The ITF has unveiled the brand new Davis Cup for 2019 and the ATP responded with the new team competition called the ATP Cup that has been scheduled for January 2020, just six weeks after the Davis Cup finals! Most of the players and tennis fans have not been happy with the changes in the Davis Cup and the way they have constructed the structure and reduced the rubbers to the best-of-three format, also with the fact that many teams will not have a chance to play at home during the entire year.

On the other hand, the ATP Cup will host the new team competition in three Australian cities over 10 days, with 24 countries fighting for 750 ATP points and the total prize money of US$15 million. Novak Djokovic and other players have been thrilled with the new event governed by the ATP and a huge investment by Kosmos group into brand new Davis Cup ($US3 billion over 25 years) is pretty much in danger right from the start, with many players already confirming they will not play in the finals stage in November.

With just six weeks that separate the 2019 Davis Cup finals and the ATP Cup in January 2020, two organizations will have to come up with the solution and a compromise, as it seems highly unlikely to have the players from the top at both events at the end of one season and the start of the next, especially after already grueling challenges during the regular part of the season.

The ITF president David Haggerty is aware of this problem and he is ready for further discussions with the ATP about the best possible solution for both the players and two government bodies:

"The challenge is the calendar because it's a very busy schedule," Haggerty said.

"There is a concern that tennis has for the health of the players and the good of the sport. We had very fruitful discussions about is there a way that we can collaborate together with one event as opposed to having a couple of events? It might not happen right away, but it's something that could happen down the road.

A number of the top players have said that they are going to be competing in the qualifying round. What they have said is: 'We play in the qualifying round and if we win, and if I'm selected by the captain, I will make myself available (for the final).' And we also know that some of the top teams are already through to the final. Some of their players have said, of course, they are going to play."