The ITF chief awaits the Davis Cup-ATP Cup agreement for June
MELBOURNE Tennis the bosses agree to merge the Davis cup & ATP Cup into a single men's world team event & concrete plans could be in place by June, International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty said.
The newly revamped Davis cup , the ITF's flagship men's event, took place at the end of last year & was followed just six weeks later by the inaugural ATP Cup , run by the men's tour.
But there was a close consensus among the top players that it made little sense to have two men's team competitions on the calendar.
We are talking to the ATP, we have heard the comments of the players, we know that the ATP too, Haggerty said in an interview at the Australian Open in Melbourne.
"It would make sense to have one event that could be the team event for the men," he said. "We're having discussions & we'll see what happens.
"The vision to me seems to be having one strong event & we're very open to that conversation."
While Haggerty was re-elected as ITF President in September, men's tour chief Chris Kermode - one of the driving forces behind the ATP Cup - has been ousted. He was replaced in the New Year by Italians Andrea Gaudenzi & Massimo Calvelli as chairman & chief executive respectively.
Haggerty said meetings had already taken place & the new ATP leadership was "very definitely" open about having a single annual men's team event.
"Our goal is over the next few months that we have some serious discussions & see if there's some alignment," Haggerty said.
I would say Roland Garros, Wimbledon, yes, that kind of synchronization. A lot will depend on how it looks, but I think if the parties are willing to consider several possibilities, everything is possible. I'm optimistic by nature.
"We just have to have those conversations & how we work together. A lot of times, it's not just about the money, it's about the schedule for the players, it's about having more of an off-season.
" Tennis is committed to having these conversations & trying to come up with the best formula."
The new Davis cup format was bankrolled by a $3 billion, 25-year partnership with Kosmos, the Barcelona-based investment company owned by soccer player Gerard Pique.
Both Pique & Novak Djokovic, the multiple Grand Slam champion & president of the ATP's Player Council, have been united in saying that the two events cannot co-exist.
"Kosmos are a part of that conversation & they're very willing to have the conversation about one team event," the 62-year-old American said.
Haggerty said that while the ITF was "very happy" with the inaugural edition of the reworked Davis cup in Madrid in November, there was always room for improvement.
Creo que fue un buen comienzo. No es perfecto, nada lo es, said.
I think we have a good base on which to build things we are looking for to improve competition, such as programming.