Djokovic leads calls for the ATP Cup and Davis Cup to merge

Brisbane, January 2 (AFP) Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic said Thursday that there was no point in having two men's team tennis competitions and suggested that the new ATP Cup should be merged with the Davis Cup.

The ATP Cup is about to begin its inaugural edition, replacing a series of previous warm-up tournaments of the Australian Open with the new competition of all against all.

It takes place six weeks after the renewed Davis Cup, which also has countries playing with each other in a format of all against all, was held in Madrid.

Canadian Denis Shapovalov suggested earlier on Thursday that the two events, one led by the men's tour, the Association of Tennis Professionals, and the other by the International Tennis Federation, should be combined.

It is a very similar event and is literally one after the other, so it feels a little strange what it feels like if the world championships come to play another world championship, Shapovalov said.

So, for me I do not understand why they, the ATP and the ITF cannot combine, they cannot join, they cannot reach an agreement and only make a really unique and special tournament for everyone.

When asked about the Canadian's comments, Djokovic, who is on the board of ATP players, agreed.

We need to have a World Super Cup event, whatever you want to call it, he said.

That is not going to happen next year too. But if the two sides, the ITF, the Davis Cup and the ATP come together very quickly, it can possibly happen by 2022.

I hope it happens because it is a bit difficult to get the best players to commit to play both events, the Davis Cup and the ATP Cup.

And they are six weeks apart, so they are not helping each other in terms of marketing, in terms of the value of the event. Djokovic's concerns were shared by Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, who said having two men's teams was too much.

Obviously, we don't need two competitions in the same way. Two team competitions is too much, he said.

Djokovic does not normally play in Australia before the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne, but will use the ATP Cup to prepare for his attempt to win an eighth Australian Open crown.

On the Australian Open courts, Melbourne Park was always very suitable for my game, and I can't wait to go back there, he said.

Obviously, that's probably my most successful course in my career, in my life, so I love playing there. Djokovic's first game in the ATP Cup will be against South African Kevin Anderson on Saturday. (AFP) APA APA

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