Tennis and the World Cup: A Plan

The 2014 World Cup concluded and it as always was a major sporting event across the globe. Basketball and Baseball have added the Basketball World Championship/World Cup and the World Baseball Classic.  Each has been successful and will likely grow in importance.  Couldn’t tennis do something along these lines?  Shouldn’t tennis do something along these lines?

Why Not

  1. Tennis is already very international – Every tournament features players from a variety of locations.  Why add more international competition?
  2. Tennis already has Davis Cup, Federation Cup, Hopman Cup and of course the Olympic Games.
  3. The tennis schedule is packed and offers no true off season for players to train and recover.
  4. The alphabet soup of tennis’ governing bodies would not be easy to navigate in creating a Tennis World Championship event.

Why

  1. This event should be able to sell itself.
  2. Team competition in an individual sport would be intriguing.
  3. **** Tennis could offer a World Championship in which both female and male players contributed to the overall outcome.  ****  This would be pretty unique and create some interesting match-ups.  Imagine the US vs. Spain.  The men’s and women’s singles matches would almost certainly cancel out and doubles would take on a major role.  
  4. A set date and location every 4 years would be easier to sell than the current Davis and Federation Cup configurations.

How

  1. No one is going to let the old traditions of Davis and Federation Cup go extinct.  So any ideas creating a Federation of Davis Cup every 4 years needs to be dropped.
  2. I do think if tennis ran Davis and Federation Cup in their current format every other year skipping Olympic and World Championship years some wiggle room in the crowded schedule could be achieved so that Olympic and World Championship years do not overload a players schedule.
  3. Use the Federation and Davis Cup results to determine the 8 qualifying nations for the World Championship.
  4. Hold the World Championship of Tennis in the Fall after the WTA and ATP seasons have concluded.
  5. Hold the World Championship of Tennis 2 years after a Summer Olympiad concludes.
  6. Find host countries in which tennis is popular that also have cities and facilities capable of supporting multiple rounds of play.

Format Options

  1. One option would be to have 2 singles matches for men, 2 singles matches for women, 1 doubles match for men, 1 doubles match for women and a mixed doubles match to split the difference if two countries tied 3-3.
  2. I don’t particularly like mixed doubles having that much importance so I think a third male and female singles player for each team should be on hand.  If two countries tie 3-3, then a coin is flipped to determine if the final match is men’s or women’s singles.
  3. Perhaps cut doubles all together and have each country bringing their top 4 male and top 4 female players.  The 4th only playing if the overall series ties at 3-3 and a coin flip decides the gender.  Of course in this system, a best of 5 verses best of 7 format could be used and each country would bring their top 3 male and top 3 female players.
  4. Any selected format should feature singles.  Doubles could play a role, but it would not be the dominant role in this system.  As teams advance a World Champion could be crowned.
  5. No Stacking in Singles is Allowed.  If Serbia played the Czech Republic, Berdych can’t be placed in a match versus Serbia’s #2 ranked player.  Computer rankings would make 1 vs. 1 and 2 vs. 2 for the singles matches.
  6. The World Championships would be over by early or at worst mid November if Davis and Federation Cup are not played during those years.

 

 

 

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