Novak Djokovic has come to the defence of Davis Cup organisers, with the Serb directly rebutting heavy criticism of the abbreviated world team competition launched by Aussie Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt.
Djokovic, who could not keep Serbia from crashing in the group stage of the one-time classic event with it popular home-and-away format, suggested the event is wise to follow the money.
Hewitt, a Davis Cup hero for Australia during his playing days, slammed the abbreviated format which crams a year’s worth of team play into 11 days, ending this year in Madrid.
With dollars apparently drying up in Europe, Spanish organisers with a football background have done a deal to send the event to Abu Dhabi for five hopefully lucrative years.
Djokovic, the richest tennis player on the planet with on-court earnings of around 150 million USD, is all-in.
“There is a lot of interest to bring Davis Cup or any other big tennis competition or sports competition to the Middle East,” he said at the Davis venue.
“Economically they’re very strong and they can finance the big demands that you have for an organisation of such an important event.
“Now, the question is whether you follow the money, so to say, or you follow the tradition, or you find a balance between the two.
“That’s always the big question on anybody’s mind. Of course, there are a lot of differences. People think one way or another … I’m somewhere in between.”
Djokovic has frequently complained about the time involved in competing in the old-style Davis, which played ties four times during any given season.