Serbia's Novak Djokovic reacts during a quarter-final double tennis match between Serbia and Russia at the Davis Cup Madrid Final 2019 in Madrid on November 22, 2019. (Photo by OSCAR DEL POZO / AFP)
Serbian superstar Novak Djokovic said on Thursday that it was pointless to host two men's tennis competitions, and suggested that the new ATP Cup merge with the Davis Cup.
The ATP Cup is about to begin its opening edition and replaces a number of previous Australian Open warm-up tournaments with the new round robin competition.
Six weeks after hosting the revised Davis Cup in Madrid, in which countries also play against each other in round robin format.
Canadian Denis Shapovalov proposed on Thursday to combine the two events – one from the men's tour, the Association of Tennis Professionals and the other from the International Tennis Federation.
"It's a really similar event and it's literally a counterpart to the other, so it's a bit strange when you feel that the World Cup is coming to play another World Cup," said Shapovalov.
"So I don't understand why they, the ATP and the ITF, don't agree, can't agree and just make a really unique and special tournament for everyone."
When Djokovic was asked about the Canadian's comments, he agreed.
"We need a Super World Cup event, whatever you want to call it," he said.
"That will not happen next year either, but if the two sides, the ITF, the Davis Cup and the ATP, come together very quickly, this could possibly happen in 2022.
"I hope it will happen because it is difficult to get top players to get involved in both events, the Davis Cup and the ATP Cup."
"And it's six weeks apart, so they don't really help each other in terms of marketing and the value of the event."
Djokovic's concerns were shared by Nicolas Mahut (France), who said it was "too much" to contest two men's team competitions.
“Of course we don't need two competitions in the same way. Two team competitions are too much, ”he said.
Djokovic does not normally play in Australia before the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne, but he will use the ATP Cup to prepare for his attempt to win an eighth Australian Open crown.
"The Australian Open Courts at Melbourne Park have always been very good for my game and I can't wait to go back there," he said.
"Obviously, this is probably my most successful place in my career and in my life. I love to play there."
Djokovic's first match in the ATP Cup will be played against South African Kevin Anderson on Saturday.
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