Djokovic demands change: Davis Cup not working for top players

Novak Djokovic has lashed out at the Davis Cup organisers for making the competition "not as attractive" to the top players on the ATP Tour.

The competition's format has often come in for criticism as they try to fit various rounds in amid a hectic ATP schedule, with some ties taking place immediately after grand slams.

This month's final is a prime example as Croatia and Argentina prepare to battle it out for the title five days after the ATP World Tour Finals - Marin Cilic set to compete in both.

Djokovic says a radical change to the format is needed, suggesting fewer matches over fewer sets across fewer days.

"This format is not working for the top players, especially for the top players, because it's just completely at the wrong time in the schedule," he told a media conference following a 6-1 6-2 win over David Goffin at the O2 Arena on Thursday.

"If you go back five years, let's say five, six years, you see the amount of the top players that played at the later stages of the Davis Cup, you see that it lost value.

"Of course, they have to change. The only way to work is once a year, [over] one or two weeks, have a round-robin format, four, five, six groups, have teams play in different locations, then come together in one location and play a knockout stage, quarter-finals, semi-finals, final four, whatever.

"It's a no-brainer. I'm not the only one to have this kind of opinion about it. Many of the players have been talking about this format and the schedule, top players especially, because it just comes right after grand slams, right after World Tour Finals.

"Playing over three days, best-of-five... I think they should cut it down to two days, best-of-three. Have two singles and one doubles, those kind of things."

The former world number one also feels the competition is in danger of losing the elite players going forward as their schedules become packed and the demands of travel grow.

"I don't know how the future of Davis Cup will look," he added. "I mean, I respect that competition. It has a long history. I love playing for my country. This is the only official team competition we have in our sport.

"But there is definitely something radically that has to change. I don't know if they realise, but they're losing a lot of value in terms of commercial perspective, marketing perspective, whatever."

The International Tennis Federation's (ITF) decision to host future finals at a neutral venue has also annoyed Djokovic, the 29-year-old believing it will detract from the atmosphere.

"ITF hasn't been really very helpful with the players' demands," he said. 

"The only thing that they wanted to change is the neutral final, I think for next year or the year after that, which talking to all the players on the council, most of the players also around the tour, nobody agrees with that. 

"Again, you're taking away from the players the one thing that players love about Davis Cup, which is the home tie, the home crowd."

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