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Djokovic: Streamline Davis Cup to Elite Eight

Novak Djokovic supports the new Davis Cup Finals format—and proposes two changes to improve it.

The world No. 2, who led Serbia to the quarterfinals where it fell to Russia in Madrid, advocates the Davis Cup Finals streamlining from its current 18 teams to an elite eight. Djokovic supports another round of Davis Cup home ties then convening at one location with an elite eight forming the Davis Cup Finals.

More: Khachanov, Rublev Lead Russia Past Serbia

"I also support the fact that there had to be a change from the old format because just the old format wasn't I think generating enough interest in the world of sport, in the world of tennis as well, with the way the model of the Davis Cup format used to be," Djokovic told the media in Madrid. "I think maybe the ideal format is somewhere in between. Maybe creating an elite eight tournament and having maybe one week or two weeks earlier in the year where nations can play at home in the qualifications group for the elite eight, something like that.

"But again, I think it's exciting playing for your country in any format that is out there. For me, it's a great honor and pleasure."

The Wimbledon champion also asserts the competition should move from November to September to try to ensure maximum player participation.

Djokovic, who has called on the game's governing bodies to combine the Davis Cup and the ATP Cup, which will be staged in January in three Australian cities, should be combined to one competition. The Australian Open champion says September would be the ideal time to play one combined Cup competition.

"The most ideal I think time of the year is after US Open, probably end of September," Djokovic said. "That would be the best time to have this super cup, whatever, one cup hopefully in the future. Yeah, I mean, that's my opinion. I don't know whether that's realistic or not, whether that's possible.

"There are so many different things, so many different people and entities involved that it's really not easy just to say, Let's pick that date, because, you know, you have so many different tournaments that you are harming maybe because of that week and so forth and so forth. Right now, it is what it is. It is the last week of the year.

"It's definitely a tough schedule for not just our players, but I think for a lot of players, it's really difficult because you have a whole season and then you have to push yourself for another week and then eventually play singles, doubles every day. But, you know, as I said, there are positives as well, and we'll see what the future brings."

Photo credit: Christopher Levy