American Davis Cup captain Jim Courier would like to see even bigger changes to the team competition, calling for it to become an annual two-week competition.
The former world No. 1 called the current structure of Davis Cup a relic that is stopping the competition from being more popular.
“The problem for the Davis Cup is it’s a tree falling in a forest, and not enough people are around to hear it or see it,” Courier said, according to the AAP. “…It’s not 1915 anymore. You have to be a little more aware of what the modern marketplace wants.”
He pointed to long gaps between Davis Cup ties and their varied locations as a problem. The quarterfinals were just contested, but the semifinals will not be played until after the U.S. Open.
“People in America follow Davis Cup when we play in the States, but it’s pretty hard for them to follow it [on the same days as golf’s] Masters at 2 a.m. in the morning,” said Courier.
The International Tennis Federation has put forward planned changes that include reducing singles matches to best-of-three sets and holding the final in a neutral location, as opposed to the traditional home-and-away format.
But Courier wants even bigger changes, calling for the event to become an annual two-week competition.
“Noncore tennis fans will start to follow the story because they’ll hear about it and they won’t have to wait four or five months for their team to play again,” he said. “…I hate soccer, but when the World Cup comes along, I follow the American team, male or female—and I don’t pay attention to one other game the rest of the year.
“I’ve been saying this for years and years, and I’m on record as saying it, so this is nothing new and I’m not the only one who’s saying it. But I believe that’s the answer for this competition.”
Courier’s team fell 3-1 to the Australians. More than 16,000 spectators attending the tie in Brisbane.