Miami Open 2019 - Day 11
Miami Open 2019 - Day 11

Timing of Davis and ATP cups ‘bit strange’

RISING Canadian star Denis Shapovalov has called for the ATP Cup and the Davis Cup to merge to form one world championship of team tennis.

Fresh from guiding Canada to the final of the 2019 Davis Cup, which was contested in November under a new, week-long format in Spain, Shapovalov is in Brisbane for the inaugural ATP Cup, a 24-nation team tournament starting on Friday.

While delighted to again be representing his country at an event that doubles as an ideal preparation for the Australian Open, the 20-year-old world No.15 feels "weird" about the ATP Cup coming so soon after the Davis Cup.

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"It's a little bit strange to have it at a similar time as Davis Cup," Shapovalov said.

"It's a little bit of a weird feeling just playing the world championships, (then) coming into another event that's pretty much the same thing.

"I think it would be great just to have the one event that's a world championships because a month ago we played the world championships and now it feels like we're playing another one.

"It would be great if they could definitely organise and make one big event, just make it a really special and unique tournament.

"Hopefully they can come to terms together and make something happen."

Shapovalov plays lawn bowls in Brisbane with the rest of Canada’s ATP team. Picture: AAP
Shapovalov plays lawn bowls in Brisbane with the rest of Canada’s ATP team. Picture: AAP

Shapovalov described the new Davis Cup format, whose critics include Australian great Lleyton Hewitt, as "spectacular".

"The way Davis Cup was this year was really spectacular and the format's really similar to what this (ATP Cup) is, so I don't see why they couldn't make something happen together," he said.

"I'm on-board to try to make it one big great event."

Canada's run to the Davis Cup final, in which they were beaten two rubbers to nil by Spain, included a 2-1 quarter-final win over Australia.

Shapovalov was beaten in three sets by Australia's No.1 ranked player, world No.18 Alex de Minaur.

The pair will face off again on Sunday at the Queensland Tennis Centre when their nations meet in a Group F clash. It's a group that also includes Germany and Greece.

"(The group) is really tough and it's awesome for tennis fans to see so many top players playing this event," Shapovalov said.

"In a group like this, the matches are going to be ridiculous and the margins are going to be so small, it's the best of three matches, so it's going to be so exciting.

"It's also a great way to start the season playing a lot of matches. Before maybe you lose first or second round, and you don't get as many matches under your belt before the major."