All of us who were fortunate to represent our countries in Davis Cup have felt that emotion singing our national anthem, you get goose bumps and these tickle in the stomach between excitement and nervousness and that adrenaline are very different from what you feel in an ATP or Grand Slam tournament.
For me, having represented Ecuador during 18 years, make my debut next to my idol, Andres Gomez, be lucky to play along with my brother Giovanni (the triumph in the court 1 of Wimbledon in the year 2000, one of the best memories of my career), and also have helped to several young over the years, these are the experiences more beautiful I have lived, both inside and outside of a tennis court.
Much has been said in recent years about the Davis Cup should not be played every year. It should be played every two, and even every four years as the FIFA World Cup.
It is an issue that requires much analysis. It is very important for the Davis Cup that the best players in the world play on it. And so, with the triumph of Great Britain in 2015, the last 4 big players (Federer, Nadal, Djokovic and Murray) have already raised the famous Davis Cup trophy.
And curiously are the top players who prefer to play the Davis Cup every two years, and it is more than understandable. The ATP tour calendar is very demanding, players often have to sacrifice ATP tournaments or weeks off to comply with their country. And what happens if they reach to the final? It is usually played a few days later of Masters Cup (last week of November or first of December). What does it mean? The physical and mental effort to play these matches to five sets after eleven months competing in the circuit and having no time enough to rest the necessary weeks before starting the pre-season for the following year. At the end all these things take its toll.
But we also have to analyse it from another point of view. From the point of view of the small countries, where the Davis Cup weeks are very important, these are very awaited weeks for its players, federations and fans.
If the Davis Cup was played every two years, depending on the draw, it may well be the case that a country could be at least four years without hosting a play-offs. Which would be the consequences of that?
– For the players, many times is the unique opportunity of playing in your country, surrounded by family, friends, fans and personal sponsors.
-For the federations, it is the opportunity of generate economic resources through sponsorships, TV rights, tickets sales, etc. Many of the federations of small countries (as it is the case of Ecuador) do not have resources to support their youth players, and the Davis Cup is a great opportunity to do so.
-For the local children, have the opportunity to watch live matches of their local idols are a great motivation to continue practicing tennis.
-For the fans, it is the unique opportunity of enjoy a live tennis match and support the local players.
By analysing it from both points of view, the decision it is not easy. It is almost impossible that all players come to an agreement in making a decision. Everyone has their personal goals and we have to respect it.
Well, anyway, should be played the Davis Cup every single year?
I would say YES.
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