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Sam Groth criticizes Novak Djokovic for "very contradictory" comments on Davis Cup's move to Abu Dhabi

Novak Djokovic during Serbia's tie against Germany at the Davis Cup Finals 2021
Novak Djokovic during Serbia's tie against Germany at the Davis Cup Finals 2021
Ewan West
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Former ATP player Sam Groth has slammed Novak Djokovic for his comments on the Davis Cup's proposed move to Abu Dhabi, describing the Serbian's views as "very contradictory." The Australian also suggested the World No. 1 was being paid to support the proposed new venue.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is set to confirm Abu Dhabi as the new location for the Davis Cup Finals this week, according to The Telegraph. It is believed that the team competition will be held in the Middle East for five years, starting from 2022.

In a press conference at the 2021 Davis Cup Finals, Djokovic weighed in on the news of further changes to the event, which was adjusted to its current Finals format in 2019. The 34-year-old questioned whether the right move is to "follow the money" by moving to Abu Dhabi, or to "follow the tradition."

The Serb then shared his view that finding a "balance between the two" would be the ideal outcome.

“I'm somewhere in between," Djokovic said. "I think you need to respect the tradition and the history, and you need to stick to the things that are recognizable that make this competition so important for the sport. At the same time, you need to move forward and find new ways to improve the competition.”

Speaking on 2GB'S Wide World of Sports radio, Groth asserted that Djokovic and other players who are not opposing the event are receiving payment to do so.

"I'll tell you exactly the type of player who's going to show up to a 14-day event in Abu Dhabi," Groth said. "It's the players who are defending the event currently that I am sure are having payments on the backside to support what is now called the Davis Cup Rakuten finals. This is not the Davis Cup."

The Australian then argued it was hypocritical of Djokovic to defend the new competition, which is expected to run into mid-December, given the Serbian also thinks the season should be shorter.

"The ones that are going to turn up are exactly like Novak Djokovic, in my opinion, who spoke, rebutting Lleyton [Hewitt]'s comments," Groth continued. "I don't have facts on this, but this group is obviously spending a lot of money and they have some big financial backers in Abu Dhabi. For a guy that wants less tournaments throughout the year, a shorter season, to support something that plays into mid-December, is very contradictory."

Novak Djokovic chases second Davis Cup title at 2021 event

Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic during Serbia's doubles loss to Germany at the Davis Cup Finals 2021
Novak Djokovic and Nikola Cacic during Serbia's doubles loss to Germany at the Davis Cup Finals 2021

Novak Djokovic is chasing a second Davis Cup title at the 2021 edition of the team competition. The World No. 1 helped Serbia win the the event for the only time in the nation's history in 2010.

Ready for battle ⚔️🇷🇸@DjokerNole | #DavisCupFinals #byRakuten https://t.co/XJCEu25HSv

Serbia are in action against Kazakhstan in the quarter-finals of the competition in Madrid today. Victory would see them set up a last-four clash with Croatia.


Also Check Out: Updated Tennis Schedule 2022


Edited by Arvind Sriram
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