Andy Murray, Kei Nishikori call for Davis Cup revamp

2 min

Melbourne (AFP)

Andy Murray and Kei Nishikori said the Davis Cup badly needed an overhaul on Monday as concerns grow over its ability to attract top players.

Top-ranked Murray said talks were under way in the ATP Player Council to make the event more attractive, with its format and scheduling both in the firing line.

Nishikori said he was skipping Japan's upcoming Davis Cup tie, even though it is in Tokyo, because he already has a packed playing schedule.

"Everyone seems to be in agreement that the format needs to change," said Murray, who led Britain to the Davis Cup title in 2015.

"I do think it needs to change. If the top players aren't playing, the event loses value," he added.

Murray said there was clear opposition to the idea of holding the final at a neutral venue, but that little else had been agreed.

Other suggestions include reducing matches from five sets to three and playing ties on Saturday and Sunday only, rather than Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

"We chatted about a lot of different changes. The one thing that we all agreed upon was that the neutral venue is not right," Murray said.

Ties for the Davis Cup, billed as the 'World Cup of tennis', are spread across the year and teams that reach the final will have played four weekends at venues around the world.

"I hope they can make some changes. Yeah, right now I think it's way too much to play three times or even if you play final, maybe four times," Nishikori said.

"I think that has to change, for sure, to make it shorter. I think all the players -- I don't know if all, but I think most of them are hoping to change."

Nishikori has pulled out of Japan's Davis Cup tie against France in Tokyo the week after the Australian Open, blaming the scheduling of the teams event.

"I'm not playing because of the schedule, it's gonna be too tight," Nishikori said.

"Going to South America, Rio and Buenos Aires, and if I play Davis Cup, that's way too much for my body and Indian Wells and Miami (tournaments) are coming up after. So I just decided not to play."