Tennis Olympic champion Alexander Zverev has spoken out again against the current format in the Davis Cup. "You saw that you can't buy history with money," said Zverev in Trier, where the German team will meet Switzerland in qualifying this Friday and Saturday.
"Sport thrives on emotions and feelings and the Davis Cup was always the competition where you experienced the greatest emotions and the best atmosphere," said Zverev. "You could see that the new format didn't work."
The tennis world association ITF had sold the rights to the traditional team competition to the Kosmos Group around ex-soccer star Gerard Piqué for three billion dollars and a period of 25 years. Since 2019, all rounds have been played according to a new format without the usual home and away games. At the beginning of this year, however, the ITF announced that the contract with Kosmos had been terminated and that the game would be played again in a different mode from 2024.
"If I could give the ITF one piece of advice, it would be to include the players in the plans," said German team boss Michael Kohlmann. And Zverev and Co. know what they want. "I think it needs home and away games," said Zverev. Only that brings atmosphere and emotions.
In addition, the native of Hamburg would play the games again like in Grand Slam tournaments in best-of-five mode. "I'm a fan of five-set matches," said Zverev and received spontaneous approval from his teammates. When asked who would join Zverev's idea, Daniel Altmaier, Oscar Otte, Andreas Mies and Tim Pütz raised their hands together.
The game is currently played over two winning sets. In Trier on Friday (5:00 p.m./Tennis Channel and sportbild.de) Otte meets Marc-Andrea Hüsler in the opening singles. After that, Zverev will deal with the Swiss veteran and three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka.