Davis Cup GB captain Leon Smith urges organizers to listen to players about event’s future
GB captain Leon Smith urges Davis Cup organizers to listen to players about the event’s future amid suggestions final week could head to the Middle East
- The historic Davis Cup final week could be held in Abu Dhabi in the future
- The promoters of the event believe this is the best way to fulfill its obligations to the ITF
- Great Britain will face France and the Czech Republic in this week’s group stage
- The team plays behind closed doors after a 20-day Austrian lockdown
British captain Leon Smith has called for more consultations amid suggestions that Davis Cup finals week could move to Abu Dhabi.
With the historic men’s team event kicking off Thursday after skipping 2020, there is now a belief it can find a home in the Middle East.
This can be seen by the promoters of the event, the Kosmos group of footballer Gerard Pique, as the best way to fulfill its obligations towards the International Tennis Federation, its guards. The two parties entered into a 25-year staging deal worth an estimated $3 billion in 2018.
GB captain Leon Smith (right) believes players should have a say in the future of the Davis Cup
The 2021 final event will have its group stage in spectator-free Innsbruck – where GB is based – Turin and Madrid, with the latter hosting its climax next week. Smith wants to involve the national leaders in discussions about the coming years.
“They’re still trying to find what works best, but I think there needs to be an open dialogue about what happens next and trying to find a solution to make sure this stays one of the most important things on the calendar.” ,’ he said.
“It has such a history, gravitas. No one has control over what happened here, but we can control what happens to it in the future and when you talk to one of the players or captains who have experienced the atmosphere, the environment is so important, be it at home or that’s a long way off, but it must be a full crowd.
Great Britain’s team, with Smith and Andy Murray (second from right), last won in 2015
“It has to be the best for the players and the schedules.”
GB will be playing behind closed doors this weekend due to the Austrian lockdown, trying to get out of a group that pits them against France and the Czech Republic.
Even without Andy Murray, Smith can pick a strong side of the top 30 players, with Cam Norrie, Dan Evans, Joe Salisbury and Neal Skupski.
UK No. 1 Cameron Norrie (pictured) becomes Britain’s highest-ranked singles player