Todd Woodbridge, one half of the famous Woodies duo and one of the all-time greats in doubles tennis, is the latest player to come out and criticize the new Davis Cup format. Australia, led by Lleyton Hewitt, were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Canada, who have reached the finals of the event.
Until last year, the Davis Cup was held during four weeks spread over the year in a home and away format. This year for the first time, the tournament is being held in one city - Madrid - during just one week. Woodbridge commented, "The tennis itself has been brilliant, the organization has been abysmal.
From everything from IT issues to playing matches that are finishing at four in the morning. They're still out on court well after midnight in Madrid." Several players have also criticized the small number of spectators for the event, which is a big contrast to the large crowds that were a standard during the home-and-away format.
"They've got so many things to fix if it's going to be a success next year. The biggest thing is the crowds. We played our first match in front of about 400 people and that's a great disappointment." Speaking about the ITF's decision to grant wild cards for next year's event, Woodbridge says, "Today, the ITF go 'we're going to put in more wildcards.
They've put in wildcards this week, for 12 months' time. You've gotta ask the question - Chris Clarey from the New York Times has asked the question - how can you do that? It looks like they're guaranteeing world number one Novak Djokovic a spot for next year.
They're saying 'mate, we want you back next year. You can be there and you don't have to play the qualifying match earlier in the year. Then France have also been put in. And you've gotta ask the question: the vice president of the ITF is also French and I'm sure he's had an influence in that discussion."