Djokovic, leader of Nadal, asks that the ATP Cup and the Davis Cup merge

Brisbane Superstars, January 2 (AFP) Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal said on Thursday that there was no point in having two men's tennis competitions so close together 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.

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 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 don't understand why they, the ATP and the ITF cannot combine, they cannot join, they cannot reach an agreement and make a single tournament really unique and special for everyone. When asked about the Canadian's comments, Djokovic, who heads the ATP player council, 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.

- 'Two competitions is too much' -

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Djokovic's concerns were shared by the world's number one, Nadal, who also questioned the timing of the events.

Yes, it is confusing to have two World Tennis Cups in a month. For me personally that is not the ideal situation for our sport, but this is how it works today, he said in Perth.

When asked if the two should be combined in a world championship, he replied: I think tennis deserves something like this. Frenchman Nicolas Mahut also said that 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.

The Australian Open courts, Melbourne Park, were always very suitable for my game, and I am eager to return, 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 on Saturday against Kevin Anderson of South Africa, while Nadal will face Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia on the same day.

For me, that is a difficult start to the season, Nadal said.

Great things, the only way to build important things is with daily work. So (Spain) we must take care of our first tie against Georgia, and that is the only thing we have in mind, just try to be prepared for it. (AFP) APA APA

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