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HEWITT SPOT ON WITH DAVIS CUP COMMENTS


Normally if Australia made the final of the Davis and Billie Jean King Cups in the same year the nation’s fans would be rejoicing, with the country reaching the decider of the two pinnacle team events within tennis, however it’s not really the case.


The Davis Cup Finals concluded over the weekend and Australia made a sensational run to the final in Malaga, where Canada would ultimately take the ultimate prize and take an ATP and Davis Cup clean sweep.


But did the nation really care?


I think it is said every year but the Davis Cup is just not relevant anymore, even more so this year with the tournament clashing with the quadrennial phenomenon that is the FIFA World Cup.


On Saturday night in Melbourne in particular, fans rejoiced as Australia overcame Tunisia in its first World Cup match win in 12 years, with Federation Square and various pubs across the city erupting in jubilation, we saw none of that with Malaga.


The fact that Australia played Canada for the title in Europe was quite frankly ridiculous, with both nations stuck in a ludicrous time zone that didn’t suit either of them.


Under the old format of the tournament this would have been Canada’s turn to host Australia, which could have seen the event taken to some magical cities and allowed the home fans to support their young stars in Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime, while Australians would have been able to book the trip months in advance.


The stadiums would be heaving, and it would mean something. This week just felt like a gimmick with little to play for from a fan’s point of view.


Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt spoke after the semifinal and has yet again established his strong dislike for the current Davis Cup setup, discussing that home and away ties give the players so much more energy, with raucous crowds vocal from start to finish.


"I know how much it meant for me as a player to get the opportunity to play in finals. So I'm thrilled that these boys get that opportunity on Sunday," he said.


"But I'd love it to be in Australia, though. I'm disappointed the boys don't get to play in front of 15,000 at Rod Laver Arena.


"I can't be prouder of these guys. I know it's a bloody long year. There's been changes and tweaks to this competition that we have had to adjust to the last three years. We're back to these guys making massive sacrifices to be playing for their country. This is the third time this year.


"When it changed to this format, it was only ever going to be twice a year, so we have added on another week. It's been a bloody long year for everyone, and we are a long way from home, too. Don't forget that. I don't like the chances of this final series ever being played in Australia."


He is bang on the money.


It is a dark but harsh reality, but money talks and the ITF will never stage the finals in Australia purely because of location and cost.


Eight nations, plus officials, staff and other tournament necessities will create a logistical nightmare, which is hardly fair for such a proud tennis nation with the richest of heritages in the sport.


It’s funny that the two most successful nations in Davis Cup history in the USA and Australia have not seen any inkling of the Finals going their ways.


The ITF and Gerard Pique’s (a soccer player!!!) company Kosmos wanted to get the world’s best players at the tournament, but only three current top ten players have played either the group stage or the finals.


Less players are showing up than before.


When Lleyton Hewitt voices his opinion about something, he means it, and it shows that while he is still as passionate as ever about the Davis Cup, the tournament could be so much more.


It has well and truly gone down the drain.

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