Kolkata, Jan 28 (PTI) Italy’s Davis Cup winning team member Corrado Barazzutti on Monday said the radical changes made to the tournament’s format was akin to tweaking a Grand Slam.
Now team’s non-playing captain Barazzutti was part of the Italy team that won its first and only Davis Cup title in 1976 with a 4-1 win over Chile.
The 119-year-old premier competition has undergone some drastic changes this year with World Group Finals taking place at a single venue. A total of 18 teams will gather in Madrid to decide the champion as the home and away format has been done away with for the Finals.
All matches will be best-of three sets instead of the previous best-of five as the International Tennis Federation (ITF) believes the format would be more attractive.
“It’s looking like changing a Slam. Can you change a Grand Slam into best of three and you play inside one week only. You think it’s the same!”,” Barazzutti said on the sidelines of his side’s first practice session ahead of their Qualifiers against India.
“I don’t know why somebody liked this more than the previous format. But you know everything is changing, it’s going faster.” “For a player like me, who comes from a different era, I think the previous format was much better in the past — play best of five. Now we play only in one place the final,” the 65-year-old rued.
The new format was developed by investment group Kosmos, founded by Spanish footballer Gerard Pique as the ITF says the players will compete for the rival Grand Slam prize money.
Barazzutti further said no top player plays for prize money.
“Money is important. But I don’t think the best players in the world play for money. I don’t think (Roger) Federer plays Wimbledon, (Rafael) Nadal plays Roland Garros and (Bovak) Djokovic plays Flushing Meadows for the money,” he said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.