Not enough thought put into Davis Cup revamp: Woodbridge

In August, world tennis body approved an overhaul that will condense the 118-year-old competition into an 18-team, week-long event.

Woodbridge is in the capital as part of the Australian Fest.   -  Special Arrangements

Todd Woodbridge is not convinced with the radical Davis Cup revamp and the winner of 16 doubles Grand Slam titles feels the tennis bosses seemed to be in a hurry to overhaul, “risking” a century-old tradition.

In August, world tennis body approved an overhaul that will condense the 118-year-old competition into an 18-team, week-long event. Under the new format of the Davis Cup, 18 teams will play in a Final in November 2019.

“I believe the Davis Cup format needs to change, I believe the current format that has been proposed... a lot of thought has not been put into it, there are no guarantees of players turning up, there’s no logistics in place, there are a lot of issues that need to be resolved,” Woodbridge said Friday.

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The 47-year-old Australian, one half of the all-conquering ‘Woodies’, added, “I think it would have been far better if the ITF had taken their time, another 12 months and actually planned the new competition out. Hope things go okay. But, they risk losing the whole tradition of 100 plus years of Davis Cup if this doesn’t work.”

Woodbridge is in the capital as part of the Australian Fest. The 22-time Grand Slam champion formed one of the finest pairs with Mark Woodforde, dominating the doubles scene through the nineties and early 2000s, before the Bryan Brothers - Mike and Bob burst onto the scene.

“The Slams are important, we have been lucky to have the Bryan Brothers around, to maintain a lot of interest in doubles, I guess it’s important to get the next one, the next big combination."

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“If we can get a nation to come along that has a combination, that gets you a promotion. If we could get a double combination to highlight that would be sensational, and from a strong tennis nation.”

He advised the young Indian talent to step out of the comfort zone and head westwards for better exposure and growth.

“One of the things any nation, especially India, can do is to get the good young players outside of the country quickly. You need to get them to Europe."

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“We mentioned how important technique and training is on clay and I think you get them when you see those competitors early."

“If you stay at home too long or play around Asian tournaments too long, you don’t get the right attitude that is needed on the circuit. I would encourage young Indian players to travel,” he added.