The new-look Davis Cup on Thursday suffered a prestige blow as the big reveal on Abu Dhabi as site for the team event for the next five years was abruptly called off.
The announcement of a money-spinning deal to move which many tennis purists consider a bastardised version of the classic competition which lasted for well over a century before being sold to Spanish management was to have been held on Sunday.
But the Madrid ceremony was called off with little explanation: The “Davis Cup media team apologised for “any inconvenience caused” by the flip flop.
Organisers are currently slogging through the final stages of the 2022 Finals in Madrid, with the title match to be on Sunday.
Criticism has come fast and furious over the elimination of the home-and-away format which characterised the event from the start and which drew fans in their thousands to support their home sides at venues around the world
The current competition directed by management with a Spanish footballing background compresses an entire season of competition into less than a fortnight at one venue.
Speculation suggests that the choice of Abu Dhabi as a venue may have rubbed up too many the wrong way, despite a boatload of sponsor money available in the Gulf.
Australians led by former greats Lleyton Hewitt (current Davis captain) and doubles ace Todd Woodbridge (TV commentator) have been particularly dismissive of the entire rewrite of the Davis system which has long enjoyed revered status in Oz.
London’s Telegraph suggests logistics are the cause of the dissent and hints the entire show could be switched to September, clashing with hated rival the Laver Cup run by Roger Federer’s management company.