Hewitt blasts Davis Cup in scathing verdict as Australia left bitter again

Australia’s Davis Cup captain slammed the new format of the tournament after his team suffered defeat in the final for the second year in a row. Lleyton Hewitt has often been vocal about disliking the new Davis Cup, calling for the old home-and-away ties and best-of-five-set matches. And he gave another scathing review of the current set-up after Italy blew Australia away 2-0 in Sunday’s final.

Team Australia were left feeling bitter once again as they fell at the final hurdle of the Davis Cup. 12 months after losing to Canada in last year’s final, Hewitt’s men earned a shot at redemption as they reached the same stage again in 2023. But it was heartbreak for the squad again as Matteo Arnaldi downed Alexei Popyrin 7-5 3-6 6-4.

Jannik Sinner then delivered the crushing blow, proving dominant as he beat Alex de Minaur 6-3 6-0 to secure Italy’s first Davis Cup title since 1976. The Australians weren’t happy after suffering another blow in the final, with Hewitt and De Minaur both immediately taking off their runner-up medals.

And Hewitt took the opportunity to blast the new Davis Cup format once again after a successful week in Malaga. While the former world No 1 thought the host city did a good job, he still wanted to see the old version of the tournament return. “It’s been a great week in terms of our performance, and we gave ourselves an opportunity,” he said.

Click here to join our WhatsApp community to be the first to receive breaking and exclusive tennis news.

Just in Nadal and Alcaraz learn how they can play Olympics despite being ineligible[LATEST]

“Yeah, Malaga has put on a great event in terms of what they can do with the format that they’ve got, you know.” It still wasn’t enough for Hewitt though, who said he was “sick” of the lack of surface changes with the Finals week has being staged on indoor hard courts since the tournament was revamped in 2019.

He continued: “Their hands are tied. There’s no home-and-away and there’s no five sets, so it’s not ideal. We are playing on a surface that, yeah, I’m really sick of playing on, to be honest. That’s not what Davis Cup is about. It’s playing on clay, grass, outdoor elements. You know, there’s a lot of different things.

“Yeah, it’s obviously pretty frustrating, I think, that we don’t get all the different surfaces and conditions throughout Davis Cup anymore, and especially in the big matches, as well.” His comments come four years after Davis Cup was given a makeover.

  • Support fearless journalism
  • Read The Daily Express online, advert free
  • Get super-fast page loading

Don’t miss…
Andy Murray’s Instagram post both confuses and concerns tennis fans[REACTION]
Maria Sharapova gives cryptic answer to tennis retirement comeback question[RESPONSE]
Wimbledon ‘could join 14-event super tour’ leaving ATP and WTA in ruins[NEWS]

Ties now consist of two singles rubbers and, if needed, a decisive doubles. The matches are also played over best-of-three sets. Previously, there were four rounds for countries inside the top World Group played over four weekends a year, staged in one of the two competing nations with four singles matches and a doubles.

As for Australia’s second successive defeat in the final, Hewitt admitted it was tough for Popyrin to lose a close three-setter against Arnaldi. “Well, the first match could have gone either way. Alexei fought back really hard, had chances. 5-All maybe in the first set to break, as well. A couple of break points then,” he explained.

“Yeah, just felt like he was doing the right things, creating plenty of opportunities. Played a great second. Then the third set felt like he was the better player for the whole set; yet didn’t get the win.” But Australia’s captain conceded that Sinner was just too good, with the 22-year-old currently riding a huge wave of form.

He added: “Obviously, yeah, it’s tough for Alexei. But then, yeah, it’s hard to go out there and play Jannik, as well, afterwards when he’s playing as well as he is and he’s 1-Love up. He’s a tough front runner. Yeah, as I said, things could have gone slightly different. We were pretty bloody close, and I would have been pretty confident going into the doubles.”

Source: Read Full Article