Djokovic sug­gests round-robin for­mat for Olympics, Davis Cup

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

No­vak Djokovic is a fan of the round-robin for­mat in tennis, and he would even like to see it used at the Olympics and the Davis Cup. Djokovic, who is chas­ing the year-end No. 1 rank­ing this week at the sea­son-end­ing tour­na­ment, praised the sys­tem at the ATP fi­nals, where play­ers can lose a match in the first round and still ad­vance to the semi­fi­nals. “I think this for­mat is ex­cit­ing,” Djokovic said yes­ter­day after win­ning his third straight match at the ATP fi­nals. “I mean, look, it’s the only tour­na­ment in the year that we have this kind of for­mat. I like play­ing in the round-robin sys­tem.” Djokovic, who lost to even­tual sil­ver medal­ist Juan Martin del Potro in the first round at the Rio de Janeiro Games, then said he thinks the for­mat could be used at the Olympics. “I guess you play more matches,” said Djokovic, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Bei­jing Games. “The peo­ple like to see the top play­ers be­ing at least for a cou­ple matches, two, three matches, in the tour­na­ment. It gives more value to the event.” Djokovic also crit­i­cized the Davis Cup, a team tour­na­ment spread out through the year. He pro­posed con­dens­ing it to make it eas­ier on the top play­ers. “Once a year ... two weeks, have a round-robin for­mat,” Djokovic said. “Have teams play in dif­fer­ent lo­ca­tions, then come to­gether in one lo­ca­tion and play a knock-out stage, quar­ter­fi­nals, semi­fi­nals, fi­nal four, what­ever. “It’s a no-brainer. I’m not the only one to have this kind of opin­ion about it. Many of the play­ers have been talk­ing about this for­mat and the sched­ule, top play­ers es­pe­cially.” Djokovic also said the three­day, best-of-five set sys­tem could be cut to two days and best-of-three matches. But he said the In­ter­na­tional Tennis Fed­er­a­tion hasn’t been re­cep­tive to change. “The only thing that they wanted to change is the neu­tral fi­nal, I think for next year or the year after that ... no­body agrees with that,” Djokovic said. “Again, you’re tak­ing away from the play­ers the one thing that play­ers love about Davis Cup, which is the home tie, the home crowd. “I don’t know how the fu­ture of Davis Cup will look like,” Djokovic added. “But there is def­i­nitely some­thing rad­i­cally that has to change.”

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