World No. 6 Alexander Zverev recently gave his thoughts on the revamped Davis Cup format that has been in effect since 2019. Speaking to the media ahead of his participation at the 2021 Munich Open, Zverev called for the national competition to go back to 'the old system' again, as that format was more appealing from an emotional standpoint.
In 2019, the structure of the Davis Cup was changed for the first time in its 121-year history. The scoring was changed from best-of-five sets to best-of-three, and the number of matches in each tie was also reduced from five to three. Moreover, the home-and-away format was abandoned in favor of a 'Finals' week where 18 teams fight for the trophy at a common venue.
Zverev has never been a fan of these changes, and on Monday he even claimed that the Davis Cup now is not very different from the ATP Cup. According to the German, the old format of the tournament had a greater degree of involvement and passion from the players.
"The Davis Cup should be under the old system again," Zverev said. "Before you had more emotions, involvement, passion. This new formula is ultimately just one more tournament, and in fact nothing more than the ATP Cup."
The new avatar of the Davis Cup was implemented by ITF in association with Kosmos Holding, a company founded and managed by famous footballer Gerard Pique. Alexander Zverev is not the first player to criticize the changes introduced to the age-old tournament; several others have voiced similar concerns in the past.
The Davis Cup could be played every 3-4 years with several cities hosting the competition, like the World Cup: Alexander Zverev
Alexander Zverev also proposed that the Davis Cup be played once every three or four years to maintain its unique nature, with several big cities getting to host the fixtures. The German went on to cite the FIFA World Cup as an example, a globally followed sports event that has retained its authenticity over the years.
"The Davis Cup could be played every three or four years with several cities hosting the competition, for example," Zverev said. "Like the football World Cup."
Alexander Zverev himself didn't participate in the 2019 Davis Cup finals, despite the fact that Germany made it through to the group stage. It remains to be seen whether he will participate in the 2021 finals, where Germany have again qualified.