United States captain Jim Courier admits the Davis Cup has been in a “stagnant” period, but says he is bullish the International Tennis Federation’s new leadership can turn it around.
New ITF chief David Haggerty said last month he was interested in a radical overhaul of the 116-year-old Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, and Courier said he was “bullish” that he could do it.
“We were certainly stagnant for a while under the previous leadership and there is a breath of fresh air coming,” Courier said in comments carried in The Australian newspaper on Tuesday.
“There is a look forward to modernise the Davis Cup and to make it sing in the way that the Australian Open and the majors are singing globally these days.”
The United States play Australia in the World Group first-round tie starting Friday, in what Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt has said will be a tough encounter at Melbourne’s Kooyong.
Young guns Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic are part of the team which includes Sam Groth and doubles specialist John Peers.
They will be up against Courier’s roster of John Isner, Jack Sock and twins Bob and Mike Bryan.
Courier said that while he was a passionate supporter of the Davis Cup, if it and the Grand Slams were publicly traded companies it “would have been gobbled up by somebody already”.
“It hasn’t carried its weight for the number of weeks that it has in the season,” he said.
“And that hurts me because I’m passionate about it.”
Haggerty has flagged the Davis Cup being decided on neutral soil between four finalists.
Under the current format, Davis Cup finals are played on the home soil of one of two finalists.