Todd Woodbridge has slammed the Davis Cup's proposed move to Abu Dhabi, while predicting that the event will no longer exist in five years' time. The doubles legend asserted that administrators responsible for changes to the historic competition should "resign."
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is set to confirm Abu Dhabi as the new location for the Davis Cup Finals on a five-year deal starting from 2022, according to The Telegraph. The 121-year-old team event was adjusted to a Finals format in 2019 after the ITF partnered with investment group Kosmos, headed by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.
Woodbridge played for the Australian Davis Cup team for 14 years and won a nation record of 25 doubles ties, as well as claiming titles in 1999 and 2003.
Speaking on 2GB'S Wide World of Sports radio, Woodbridge said he expects the Abu Dhabi move to be confirmed imminently. He also questioned why players would want to play so late in the year.
"There's an announcement to come in the next couple of days that they're going to move this event into Abu Dhabi," Woodbridge said. "It'll become a 14-day event finishing in mid-December. What player in their right mind is going to go to Abu Dhabi and give themselves two weeks off before starting the new season? There will be no off-season, there will be no time to prepare [for the following season]."
The Australian further criticized those behind the proposed decision, while making a grave prediction about the event's future.
"The people that are making these decisions really need to take a look at themselves, because this event, I think, won't be with us in five years' time," Woodbridge added.
Todd Woodbridge calls for administrators who have "wrecked" the Davis Cup to "resign and move on"
Todd Woodbridge also expressed his view that the ITF administrators responsible for the Davis Cup reforms have ruined the historic team event, arguing they should leave their roles.
"Should (the ITF administrators) still be there? That's the question," Woodbridge continued. "I think that if you've wrecked the most historic competition in the game you probably have to resign and move on."
Woodbridge won 16 Major titles in men's doubles, as well as six in mixed doubles, before retiring in 2005.