According to Brit Jamie Murray, the Davis Cup format needed a change as the old format did not allow the top players to compete over the course of a year. The new week-long tournament in Madrid’s Caja Magica, involving 18 teams split into six groups of three, is being funded by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique’s investment firm Kosmos, who are pumping in $3 billion over 25 years.
"The top players weren't able to commit to the event, not because they didn't want to or because they didn't like the Davis Cup, it was just because it took so much time out of their schedule during the year," he wrote in a column for the BBC.
“If you got to the final, it could be eight weeks in your year and with the fixtures always played right after the Grand Slams, ATP Finals or other big events. It meant the ties didn’t come at the right time of the calendar”.
He further added, “A lot of the top players are here ... Players love representing their countries, but also because there has been a huge injection of cash from Kosmos. There are definitely financial incentives for guys to come and play here”.
The venue is a major cause of concern as it has been unable to attract the audiences the old format could. “I hope people do come out and support the event because it has the potential to be a great event,” Murray said.
“It’s like the football World Cup, a lot of those matches aren’t necessarily glamour matches and the stadiums aren’t full. “I’m sure it’ll be the same here but for the real big matches we hope the stadiums will be packed and provide a great atmosphere which showcase potentially the best tournament in tennis”.