Lleyton Hewitt, the Australian Captain, is not impressed with the new format of the Davis Cup. He still believes that the changes made to this tournament were not necessary. The Australian who has participated in 43 ties has been on the front line criticizing the changes which have been made.
The new format will have 18 teams battle it out for the title under one week. The teams have been drawn in six groups, and the matches will be played in the best of three format, two singles match and one doubles match. The top teams in each group will enter the quarterfinals and will be joined by the best two runners up.
“I still feel the same way. In terms of the Davis Cup and how we all knew it. Two of the biggest differences and what the competition was all about was home, and away ties and matches played over five sets. You couldn’t do that in any kind of form in our great game, and if you look at the pinnacle of our game, which are the grand slams, they are played over five sets,” he said.
Federer and Zverev touring South America
Roger Federer and Alexander Zverev have already opted out of the competition. The Swiss did not qualify for it, but early on, he had expressed his desire not to participate in the tournament. Zverev, just like Hewitt, does not fancy the new changes which have been imposed on the Davis Cup.
“I don’t think the format is Davis Cup anymore. I think Davis Cup is the most historic event that we have in tennis, which is over 100 years old, and the Davis Cup is the home and away ties. That’s Davis Cup for me, and not playing it at one venue for one week and deciding it all,” said the current World number 7.
The Australian team at the Davis Cup
The Australian team will be heading into this tournament as one of the most successful teams. It boasts of winning the title 28 times. Besides, they have finished as runners up on 19 occasions.
Australia first graced this tournament in 1899. It has since enjoyed a nice run in this tournament in the past four decades. This year it will be hoping to replicate their excellent form as they kickstart their campaign by facing Colombia on Wednesday, then Belgium in their second match.
Hewitt is hopeful the team will compete very well regardless of the new changes.
‘It doesn’t matter if we are playing marbles out there, we’re going to lay everything on the line and do what we can to represent our country and make everyone back home proud. In terms of that, nothing changes, and we have to go out there and do our best,” he admitted.
Roger Federer’s ranking and performance in 2019
Ranked no.3, Federer played his last match on the 16th of November when he was defeated by Stefanos Tsitsipas 6-3 6-4 in the semifinal in London.
This year the Swiss has a 51-10 win-loss record. The Swiss conquered 4 titles in 2019 in Dubai, in Miami, in Halle and in Basel. Roger was the finalist in Indian Wells and in Wimbledon.
Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer played each other 27 times. The head to head is 18-9 for Federer.
The last time that they locked horns, Lleyton Hewitt won 6-1 4-6 6-3 in the final in Brisbane on the January 2014.
Lleyton Hewitt and Roger Federer
|Embed from Getty Images|