Henry Wancke | 9th Mar 2020 | 0
London | LTA object to Davis Cup reforms
Having kept its powder dry in the lead-up to the controversial vote at the ITF AGM in Orlando, the LTA has finally declared its position with regard to the proposed reforms to the Davis Cup.
In a press release issued tonight, the LTA states, at the eleventh hour, that it is unable to support the ITF proposed Davis Cup reforms at this time, and will oppose the resolution at the ITF AGM tomorrow.
We take our responsibilities with regard to voting on the future of the competition extremely seriously and after consulting widely, regrettably, we do not feel we can support the proposals as they stand. Scott Lloyd
The statement continues: “The work the ITF does in governing and developing tennis across the world is vital, and a strong ITF is essential for the good of our sport.
“The LTA remains fully supportive of the ITF and its leadership and will work together on the future of Davis Cup regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s vote.
“Reform of the competition is needed.
“This is a special competition with deep roots in tennis, which has the ability to capture national pride in a way few others in our sport can.
“All of tennis wants to see a financially viable and sustainable competition that is supported by both players and fans that the sport can unite behind.
“Having considered all the arguments, and consulted widely, the LTA remains concerned regarding aspects of the current proposal:
- The LTA’s vision is to grow and open up the sport. Concerns remain that the proposed format and its impact on the tennis calendar, extending the season for players, risks player participation and therefore fan appeal;
- Despite some real progress in developing the format, there remain a number of outstanding queries, particularly on the clarity of how the business case will work in practice, which has led the LTA to conclude that it is too early to seek approval;
- The proposal has created division amongst the member nations. The strength of the ITF in governing and developing tennis across the world will be reinforced by bringing tennis together behind a unified proposal and the LTA feels we have not yet reached that point.
Scott Lloyd, CEO of the LTA said: “The Davis Cup is loved by so many people in our country. From Roger Taylor to Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, and more recently Andy and Jamie Murray, the Davis Cup has seen some of the greatest players in the history of British tennis deliver some of the most memorable moments in our sport.
“The competition plays a vital role in supporting the LTA’s vision to open up tennis in Britain.
“We take our responsibilities with regard to voting on the future of the competition extremely seriously and after consulting widely, regrettably, we do not feel we can support the proposals as they stand.
“The LTA remains fully supportive of the ITF and its leadership and we will work together on the future of Davis Cup regardless of the outcome of tomorrow’s vote.”
A legion of British fans will be relieved to learn that the LTA, who has hitherto seemingly sat on the fence, will withhold 12 crucial votes as one of the four Grand Slams with a weighted say in ITF resolutions.
Along with Tennis Australia and European nations, it could just result in a welcome pause in the reform proceedings, just enough, perhaps, to allow a stock-take on the future of the Davis Cup.