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Davis Cup and tennis need a change: Tournament referee


IANS Kolkata
Tournament referee Wayne McKewen on Tuesday backed the new shortened version of the Davis Cup, asserting that it was time the tournament and tennis went through a change.
"A lot of people have different views. Some people are traditionalist, they like the old format. It's very difficult. I think Davis Cup and tennis needs a change. It's different scoring formats and different events now," McKewen told reporters on the sidelines of India versus Italy World Group qualifiers tie here.
Citing the example of the just-concluded Australian Open, where he was the tournament referee, McKewen said: "You just look at the Australian Open, which has always been advantage in the final set. This year, we went to a 10-point tie break in the final set of six games all. Things are changing."
In the biggest overhaul since the team competition was founded in 1900, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has decided to do away with the traditional three-day, five-set format and introduced a two-tier structure.
The new system will see 24 nations being paired on a home-and away basis over two days each in February with the 12 winners joining six already-identified teams in the week-long Finals to be held in Madrid from November 18-24.
"When you possibly have to play three best of five set matches in three days it can be very taxing on the body. It almost takes you out of the following week as well. So reducing it to two days best of three sets and having Sunday off, it gives the players that greater ability to be able to back up the following week which is was one of their main concerns," McKewen said.
On the preparations at the Calcutta South Club, which is hosting the meet after 16 years, McKewen said: "It's always difficult when you come to a venue like this where a lot of the infrastructure is temporary.
"My main concern is the court and it looks in good shape. It's just the stands that are being built that are a work in progress at the moment. I don't see a problem. I've done many ties in India before where this has been the case where the stands are being constructed.
"I've been to many other countries as well where they built the stands up until the last couple of days before the tie."

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First Published: Jan 29 2019 | 7:56 PM IST

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