Dis­ap­point­ment as re­form flops

New Straits Times - - Sport -

HANOI: The head of ten­nis’s gov­ern­ing body ex­pressed dis­ap­point­ment yes­ter­day as a key move to re­vamp the Davis Cup and Fed Cup com­pe­ti­tions failed to win ap­proval.

In­ter­na­tional Ten­nis Fed­er­a­tion (ITF) pres­i­dent David Hag­gerty said he had con­cerns over the fu­tures of the his­toric tour­na­ments af­ter the un­suc­cess­ful at­tempt to cut sin­gles matches from five to three sets.

The ITF’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Ho Chi Minh City ap­proved three other mea­sures, and 63.54 per cent of vot­ers backed the move to three tiebreak sets — just short of the two-thirds ma­jor­ity re­quired.

“We re­spect the de­ci­sion of the AGM but are dis­ap­pointed that our mem­ber na­tions have not ap­proved the full pack­age of Davis Cup and Fed Cup re­forms en­dorsed by the ITF Board,” Hag­gerty said in a state­ment.

“Change is needed to en­sure the long-term fu­ture of these iconic and his­toric com­pe­ti­tions, and we re­main com­mit­ted to work­ing with our na­tional as­so­ci­a­tions and other stake­hold­ers on find­ing ways to en­hance the Davis Cup and Fed Cup.”

Re­duc­ing sin­gles matches to three sets had been seen as im­por­tant to make the men’s and women’s in­ter­na­tional team com­pe­ti­tions more view­er­friendly in a con­gested sports sched­ule.

The 117-year-old Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, which dates from 1963, of­ten strug­gle to at­tract the spot­light in a sport which fo­cuses on the four Grand Slam tour­na­ments and has busy men’s and women’s tours.

The ITF meet­ing ap­proved a move to give Davis and Fed Cup fi­nal­ists the choice of host­ing their first-round ties the fol­low­ing year. AFP

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