Novak Djokovic
Djokovic was part of the Serbia team which won the Davis Cup in 2010 - but he is supporting an overhaul of the competition. Getty Images


  • The ITF announced this week the 118-year event will be turned into a one-week World Cup of Tennis.
  • Eighteen nations will compete at a neutral venue with around $20m prize money up for grabs.
  • The Gerard Pique-led Kosmos investment group putting $3bn into the new event as part of a 25-year partnership.

Novak Djokovic believes the proposed overhaul of the Davis Cup is "fantastic news" for tennis and will breathe new life into the team event.

Reaction to the announcement from the International Tennis Federation has been mixed, with Yevgeny Kafelnikov labelled in the proposed changes as "terrible".

The proposal - if approved by The ITF's general membership in August - would see the year-long event replaced by a seven-day tournament in November involving 18 nations at a neutral venue, with over $20m [£14.5m] in prize money on offer.

Kosnos investment group, led by Barcelona and Spain footballer Gerard Pqieu, are behind the idea which will see them plough $3bn [£2.18bn] into the event across a 25-year agreement.

The jam-packed ATP schedule has meant many of the world's top players have opted against competing for their country in recent years, undermining a competition which was first played in 1900.

"This is fantastic news! We all want to play for our country, but I have been saying for years that the current format does not work," 2010 winner Djokovic told Le Parisien.

"The proof, the best players are increasingly rare to participate regularly. I did it for years, I went after reaching the final rounds in Grand Slam. Each time you tell yourself that it is not reasonable.

"Changing the format of the Davis Cup is a decision that many have been waiting for."

The loss of the much-fabled home and away dynamic from the event, one of its unique and distinctive features, is the central drawback to the changes proposed as is the ripping up of a staple of the tennis calendar for the last 118 years.

Roger Federer, who has played one tie since leading Switzerland to the title in 2014, is skeptical over the idea but regular critic of the current format Rafael Nadal - a four-time winner - has welcomed the revamp.

Thirty-year-old Djokovic added: "Tennis can be very conservative, and I know some countries are reluctant to make any changes.

"The Davis Cup is a historic event, has deep roots that we respect but it needs to innovate, improve. It is feared that a change threatens the integrity of tennis that resists any progress.

"In other sports such as golf, football or basketball, there are successes that could be used.

"I respect all those who have left a legacy in our sport, but others are progressing and we need to get started, seize opportunities. It takes openness and out of shackles."

The event would prospectively take place the week following the ATP World Tour Finals, an event comprising the top eight players in the world, when the climax to the Davis Cup would usually be staged.

Djokovic has concerns over the timing of the competition and will meet with players at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells this month to gauge opinion over a more suitable date.

Some reports have referred to Djokovic as an investor in Pique's Kosmos firm, yet the Serbian has denied any link with the Spaniard other than as his role as the ATP Player Council president.

"I was also surprised to read that! I am definitely not part of the group of beneficiaries behind this project," the 12-time major champion added "I really insist: I'm not in business with Piqué or its partners .

"As president of the board of players and as someone who loves this sport, I'm just trying to help. It's been a year and a half since I saw Piqué come on tournaments, do a lot of effort with his associates."