Fresh from having taken France into the 2022 Davis Cup Finals, veteran Nicolas Mahut spoke about the new format of the Davis Cup that was brought in from the 2019 season after the tournament was taken over by the Kosmos Group founded by Barcelona Football Club player Gerard Pique who has now retired from representing Spain internationally.
With a new format ‘aimed’ at making the tournament exciting, it is understood that a deal has been struck with UAE to have the Finals of the Davis Cup for the next 5-years played in the Middle East. The tennis fraternity has not however accepted the decision with Captain of the Australian Davis Cup team and 2-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt saying, “They have sold the soul of the Davis Cup.”
While it was a good weekend for the French team as they won 4-0 over Ecuador with Mahut pairing up with old pal Pierre-Hugues Herbert in the doubles. While the team now moves into the Finals along with 11 other winners who won their matches over the last weekend, Mahut spoke about the change in the atmosphere of the whole tournament that did not feel good.
“The wait was endless because we had 2019 in Madrid which was a fiasco for me but it was the first edition. In 2020, we know the conditions, there was no Davis Cup and last year we found ourselves in Innsbruck behind closed doors, so we were far from the Davis Cup atmosphere and there we rediscovered the scent of a Davis Cup meeting with people who were happy to be there, who supported us, over two days,” said Mahut during his interview with RMC Sport.
“It made us dream”: Nicolas Mahut on the original Davis Cup format
Having been on the Tour ever since he turned Pro in 2000, Mahut has been part of a lot of Davis Cup teams that represented France in the hopes of winning the ‘World Cup of Tennis’, winning the tournament in 2017 and ending France’s wait of 16 years for a Davis Cup crown and bringing in the 10th title of the tournament.
“So it wasn’t three days but it’s a format that was a little closer to what we were able to know and what made us dream, players and spectators. Now, we are not going to debate on this new formula, I believe that Kosmos destroyed a historic competition and today they are rowing to make it look like something,” added Mahut further.