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Serbian tennis ace Janko Tipsarević clearly opposing proposed Davis Cup reforms


“Being one of the players that has taken part in and won both the ATP World Team Cup in Dusseldorf - as well as the Davis Cup – i completely dismiss the notion that these two competitions are in direct competition or collision - says Tipsarevic

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Serbian professional tennis star Janko Tipsarevic - former ATP Top 10 player for 2 years in a row and one of the rare active players to have won both the ATP World Team Cup and Davis Cup for his country – the only two national team competitions in tennis – leaves little space for doubt where his opinion is in regards to the currently proposed reforms of the Davis Cup by the ITF Board.

- Proposed changes to Davis Cup are inconceivable – if this competition is to retain its respectable name. To limit or extract the aspect of “Home and Away” eliminates almost everything that has made Davis Cup a successful and respectable competition, one of longest registered history and tradition in the sporting world. I do not see myself as a member of any team representing my country – and not to be able to share the rare privilege, satisfaction and passion of performing under our flag with my teammates with our home fans, across our nation.

- Actually, I don’t see any tennis player who has ever had the opportunity to feel the pride and emotions while performing in Davis Cup – regardless of results accomplished – who would agree with what has been currently offered by the ITF. I find the reaction of the Players’ Council to publicly reject these changes completely reasonable, and it has been confirmed directly to me through numerous conversations that I have had with my colleagues during the past year - says Tipsarevic.

Foto: Tanjug/Sava Radovanović

- Equally damaging – and harmful to the sport – would be the decision for such a final “World Group” to be held in a city which would offer something termed as “best conditions”, irrespective of that city or country having a recognized tennis tradition or audience. I am absolutely supportive of expanding tennis across the world, and welcome the staging of an ever-increasing number of tennis events there where they have previously not been held – but to “alienate” this competition from a tennis audience that follows the best national selections just because the financial offer from a given host city appears as “better” would represent a defeat and humiliation of our sport. This scenario may have to do more with tourism, but not with tennis.

- Just think how would tennis fans in cities across the world – large and small alike – feel if they were devoid of a direct, unique experience of enjoying top level professional tennis if all events were held only in capital cities of the nations, for example? This would be in complete contrast with the mission of developing tennis in general – because the unquestionably large number of sporting talents and prospects in smaller communities across the world would be left without such precious experiences, which have changed the lives of so many legends of sport that originate from smaller communities,” states Tipsarevic, and adds:

Foto: Tanjug/AP

- Being one of the players that has taken part in and won both the ATP World Team Cup in Dusseldorf - as well as the Davis Cup – i completely dismiss the notion that these two competitions are in direct competition or collision. Although some of the elements of the new edition of the World Team Cup can still be discussed – this is a “one-off” competition that has held its regular slot in the ATP Season calendar, and has never interfered with the scheduling or the importance of the Davis Cup. Also, the World Team Cup is of a different format – invitational, as opposed to qualifying – which adds to its distinction from Davis Cup. Of course, I have been extremely happy to have had the opportunity to play for Serbia in both competitions, but – as we are discussing Davis Cup reforms here – it is well-known what Davis Cup represents when compared to all other competitions, exhibitions or other experimental formats,” says Tiparevic, clearly drawing a line between the two “reportedly conflicting” formats.

- I do not see a way in which the Davis Cup reform issue can be solved without the participation of the players’ representatives and the ATP – but also – without the spirit of compromise and realization of just how important this moment is for global tennis in which these decisions are being made. They will ultimately reflect not only the top echelons of our sport, but also all others – even the smallest organizations, associations, clubs and players of both gender across the generations – because the maintenance and development of tennis in the next 20 years will be determined by just how thorough, valuable, complete, reasonable, economically viable and effective and strong in communications value they will be. I hope that a pristine tennis spirit and intelligence will prevail, and that such conflicts will not be occurring again any time soon!” Tipsarevic concludes his overview of the current affairs in world tennis.

(Vuk Brajović)

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