Pique to push for September Davis Cup ‘tremendous occasion’

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MADRID (Information) – Gerard Pique believes the conflict between the revamped Davis Cup Finals and the rival ATP Cup may very well be solved by making a ‘tremendous occasion’ held over a fortnight in September.

Tennis – Davis Cup Finals – Semi-Last – Caja Magica, Madrid, Spain – November 23, 2019 Kosmos CEO and FC Barcelona participant Gerard Pique and Rakuten Chairman and CEO Hiroshi Mikitani watch from the stands Information/Sergio Perez

Pique, the Barcelona defender extra used to coping with opposition strikers than tennis politics, has been a key determine in adjustments to the Davis Cup by means of his funding firm Kosmos, which has pledged $three billion over 25 years.

The inaugural 18-nation version in Madrid’s La Caja Magica, the place it would even be staged subsequent yr, has been a professional success regardless of some ties struggling to draw crowds and a schedule that has resulted in a run of extraordinarily late finishes.

The elephant within the room, nevertheless, has been the new-fangled ATP Cup beginning in six weeks, which can contain 24 nations enjoying over three Australian cities simply earlier than the beginning of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

Pique, who performed in Barcelona’s 2-1 La Liga win away at Leganes on Saturday, earlier than making the brief journey to the capital to observe Spain beat Britain in an exciting Davis Cup semi-final, acknowledges that having two related occasions so shut to one another within the calendar just isn’t viable.

He mentioned he hoped a change in management on the ATP, the place Italian Andrea Gaudenzi will substitute Chris Kermode as chairman, will assist break the deadlock.

“Within the final yr, we’ve tried to take a seat down with the ATP, clearly the state of affairs with the previous president wasn’t preferrred to take a seat down and attempt to arrive to a deal,” Pique, sitting alongside ITF president David Haggerty, mentioned at a information convention on Sunday at La Caja Magica.

“Now there will likely be some adjustments, so we expect that so we are able to sit down once more. I feel that sooner or later, ITF and Kosmos, we’re actually open to take a seat down with the ATP and attempt to arrive to a deal, to make a singular competitors, an excellent occasion of two weeks and attempt to discover the most effective half within the calendar.

“I feel Novak (Djokovic) and Rafa (Nadal), the primary and two on this planet proper now, have expressed that they need the identical, they need only one occasion, and if it’s doable, to place it in September for 2 weeks. Since day one, we expressed we wish to arrive to this deal.

“It is mindless to have proper now two totally different competitions which might be very related.”

The impediment to Kosmos and the ITF having their want is the Laver Cup competitors, performed in September and partly owned by Roger Federer’s administration firm Team8 and Tennis Australia, which has been formally sanctioned by the ATP.

Twenty-times Grand Slam champion Federer has criticized Pique’s involvement within the Davis Cup and has confirmed himself an astute businessman, who will combat to safe his pet venture.

“They’ve, or he has the Laver Cup and, clearly, it’s his child, his competitors, and he needs to guard it and clearly to create as massive as doable this exhibition.

“I completely perceive. However we’ll attempt to put Davis Cup in one other stage as a result of we’re speaking about 119 years of historical past.

“You can’t examine each occasions. However we’ll attempt to do the most effective we are able to for our competitors to make it as massive as doable.”

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Modifying by Toby Davis