Time again for the least popular event in tennis. I’m not talking about John McEnroe still trying to argue his way to victory on the senior tour or players we’ve never heard of playing mixed doubles, I’m talking about the David Cup folks. Somebody please explain to me the logic behind this age old international competition that hardly anyone seems to care about.
Players are always talking about how long the tennis season is, and I’d have to agree with them. From the beginning of January right up until the middle of November these guys are battling it out accross the globe. What other professional sport has its players travelling accross the world at such a hectic pace? Some guys even play through December in smaller level challenger events in order to stay on top of their game. While that may be their perogative, it still does not diminish the year-round committment to the sport that they must demonstrate. Then when there are gaps in the demanding schedule, the ITF feels compelled to throw in the Davis Cup. How about some vacation time???
The Davis Cup is not a mandatory event which means that it is up to the individual player whether he wants to compete or not. I’m willing to bet that some countries make it pretty tough for their players to turn down a request. There is also an element of pride involved that I’m sure motivates the players to represent their countries, and I’m certainly not knocking that aspect. But if you’re going to put on an event of this magnitude, at least promote the Davis Cup with a little more accessibility and understanding for the fans and find a schedule and setup that is functional with the rest of the tennis calendar. Make this thing worthwhile!
Looking at the official website for the ATP tour (www.atptennis.com) one can’t even find a link to the Davis Cup website (www.daviscup.org) or any information about the history of this event or its supposed importance. The marketing guru’s for the tour are clearly working overtime on this one.
One last head-scratching aspect of the Davis Cup is how it is still played during Olympic years such as this one. How many international competitions are really needed in one season? Instead of playing Davis Cup, let’s build some hype around the Olympics. Again, I see no mention of Olympic involvement on the ATP website.
For the record, round one of the World Group commences February 8th and has the defending champion United States taking on tennis power-house Austria. I can sense the anticipation already building!