The 15-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic has been on a well-deserved rest after the dominant run in Melbourne where he defeated Rafael Nadal in the final to kick off the season in the best possible way. After his outstanding comeback in 2018 (he was ranked outside the top-20 in May before finishing the year at the top), Novak has earned the Laureus World Sports Award for Sportsman of the Year for the fourth time, charging batteries and getting ready for Indian Wells where he will make a return and chase another big title.
During his visit to the native Belgrade, the journalists asked Novak about the new Davis Cup and the world no. 1 confirmed he would not play Davis Cup Finals in Caja Magica between November 18-24. After Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev, Novak has become another big star who would miss the first edition of the renewed Davis Cup that has not been widely accepted among the players, captains and the fans.
Davis Cup Finals draw had taken place ten days ago in Madrid and Serbia is scheduled to play against France and Japan in Group A, standing little chance without Novak who has earned Davis Cup Commitment Award after competing for Serbia in 12 out of 14 years between 2004-2017.
Djokovic had won 31 out of 38 Davis Cup singles rubbers, keeping Serbia in contention when it mattered the most and leading his country towards the title in 2010 when they beat France in Belgrade. ITF and Kosmos group had launched the most significant Davis Cup changes ever last year to keep the players from the top in competition although that has not been the case so far, losing five top-10 stars already nine months before the start of the tournament!
Like many other players, Novak thinks the reforms that ITF undergo were too radical and not the best possible attempt to make players' schedule lighter after a grueling year and the ATP Finals. In addition, Novak mentioned the upcoming ATP Cup that will kick off in January 2020, just six weeks after the first edition of the Davis Cup Finals, switching his focus to this newly-formed ATP team event that should gather more than 100 players from 24 countries in Sydney, Brisbane and one more Australian city between January 3-12.
This is undoubtedly another blow for both ITF and Kosmos in their plans to keep the Davis Cup as the most prominent men's team competition, with the ATP Cup threatening to steal the glory and get the best possible line-up after offering 750 points and huge prize money.