Tennis chiefs want new lucrative team event in Australia
THE ATP are pressing ahead with plans for a new team competition in Australia in January in a move that casts into further doubt proposals to reform the Davis Cup.
In a statement the governing body of men’s tennis announced the approval of the ATP World Team Cup, in partnership with Tennis Australia, which is set to take place at the start of the season from January 2020.
With 15m US dollars (£11.35m) in prize money, and ranking points available, it is clear that the ATP intend to attract the best players.
ATP executive chairman and president Chris Kermode said: “We’re delighted to have reached this outcome, which will change the landscape of the ATP World Tour.
“This event will enable us to kick off our season with a major team event, with minimal impact on existing player schedules at the start of the year.
“We believe this outcome will deliver long-term sustainability, not only financially but also from a player health perspective, which is critical,” added Kermode.
“The event has huge potential and we now look forward to working together with Tennis Australia in bringing our vision to fruition.”
Speaking to the BBC in March, Kermode said the ATP and International Tennis Federation staging rival events within six weeks of each other would be “insane”, yet that could now happen.
Federations will vote at the ITF AGM in August on proposals to transform the Davis Cup, culminating in an 18-nation World Cupstyle tournament at the end of the season in November.
The plans have been hugely controversial and the prospect of two major team tournaments so close to one another could make federations who were planning to vote for the proposals think again.
World No 2 Caroline Wozniacki claimed her second East- bourne title with victory over Aryna Sabalenka.
The Danish top seed limbered up for Wimbledon with a 7-5 7-6 (7/5) victory at the Nature Valley International.
Sabalenka, from Belarus, served for both sets and led 4-1 in the tie-break, but could not take her chances.
Australian Open champion Wozniacki, who has never made it past the fourth round at Wimbledon, will come up against American Varvara Lepchenko in round one today.
In the men’s event Germany’s Mischa Zverev won the title with victory over Lukas Lacko of Slovakia.
The 30-year-old German beat Lacko 6-4 6-4.
Zverev will now turn his attention to Wimbledon, where he could face two-time winner Rafael Nadal in the third round.
At the Antalya Open in Turkey Damir Dzumhur came through a seesaw final to beat top seed Adrian Mannarino.
The Bosnian swept through the first set, crumbled in the second, but took charge again in the third to run out a 6-1 1-6 6-1 winner against the French secod seed.
Dzumhur is the 27th seed at Wimbledon and faces Maximilian Marterer in round one.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI: Beat Aryna Sabalenka at Eastbourne to warm up for Wimbledon.