Tennis  > General Tennis  > Davis Cup ..... the Pride of Tennis
September 21, 2010, 12:15 PM
Today, when initiatives made of principle and honor are surviving with great difficulty, the Davis Cup still continues, albeit now as a dimmer beacon of the sport. This magnificent competition where conditions such as crowd, surface, national pride and venue combine with the physical and mental state of the players to become the arbiters of the outcome. Individual rankings and earnings history count for nothing.

Factors squeezing Davis Cup and threatening its permanent relegation to the bench lie with the increasing prosperity of the pro circuit, now itself facing problems. Scheduling abuses have increased injuries, negated time off and placed the livelihood of players in direct competion with this extraordinary event.

DC must be preserved and protected and given its hierarchy in Tennis. I've written often about circuit scheduling. That is priority #1. I do believe that non-monetary incentives should be introduced such as ranking points for winners and runners-up. Other rewards that enhance future potential should be created. This along with national pride should keep Davis Cup current and relevant.
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March 12, 2011  06:02 PM ET
QUOTE:

Today, when initiatives made of principle and honor are surviving with great difficulty, the Davis Cup still continues, albeit now as a dimmer beacon of the sport. This magnificent competition where conditions such as crowd, surface, national pride and venue combine with the physical and mental state of the players to become the arbiters of the outcome. Individual rankings and earnings history count for nothing.Factors squeezing Davis Cup and threatening its permanent relegation to the bench lie with the increasing prosperity of the pro circuit, now itself facing problems. Scheduling abuses have increased injuries, negated time off and placed the livelihood of players in direct competion with this extraordinary event.DC must be preserved and protected and given its hierarchy in Tennis. I've written often about circuit scheduling. That is priority #1. I do believe that non-monetary incentives should be introduced such as ranking points for winners and runners-up. Other rewards that enhance future potential should be created. This along with national pride should keep Davis Cup current and relevant.

Good thread but I wish we didn't have to throw "incentives" at the players to get them to play. Davis Cup is tennis in its purest form. Talent vs. Talent, country vs. country, etc. No big pay checks, endorsements etc. Our best vs. their best. Unfortunately, the almighty dollar keeps many big names away. John McEnroe was always there for his country when they called. Connors and even Agassi were always hit and miss from paly DC. Next to the Olympics , its true sport and a joy to watch. Hopefully folks will remember that and keep the traditon.

March 13, 2011  11:00 PM ET

Purecountry, I totally agree with your assessment of "incentive". The meaning can vary and its coldest and unfeeling form is when money enters. My interpretation in this venue is " We recognize your loyalty and sacrifice, thank you". Davis Cup in concept is similar to the Olympics , but in reality the participants are severely pressed by injuries, scheduling abuse (little time off) and they are professionals who do this for a livelihood - a far cry from the ambient that reined in the pre 70's.

My concept of incentive here is likened to the boss that gives an employee a paid beach holiday for his family , a reward for outstanding perfomance -- not monetary, not in his contract and totally unexpected. It's another way to say "Thank you, I value you".

Now if we can bring the ITF, dinosauric cousin of FIFA into real time, maybe we can stir up some excitement. In the last round of DC, I saw no television coverage of any type in my area.

March 14, 2011  07:55 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

Purecountry, I totally agree with your assessment of "incentive". The meaning can vary and its coldest and unfeeling form is when money enters. My interpretation in this venue is " We recognize your loyalty and sacrifice, thank you". Davis Cup in concept is similar to the Olympics , but in reality the participants are severely pressed by injuries, scheduling abuse (little time off) and they are professionals who do this for a livelihood - a far cry from the ambient that reined in the pre 70's.My concept of incentive here is likened to the boss that gives an employee a paid beach holiday for his family , a reward for outstanding perfomance -- not monetary, not in his contract and totally unexpected. It's another way to say "Thank you, I value you". Now if we can bring the ITF, dinosauric cousin of FIFA into real time, maybe we can stir up some excitement. In the last round of DC, I saw no television coverage of any type in my area.

Nice job Robert, you are right on target here. I even get the Tennis Channel and I didn't see coverage here.

 
May 17, 2011  01:14 PM ET

We've seen what winning Davis Cup has done for the career of Novak Djokovic - wouldn't any pro see that as possible incentive enough?

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