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Berdych overcomes Monfils, Djokovic wants ATP, Davis Cup reforms


Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych

Tomas Berdych advanced to the quarter-finals of the Miami Masters as Gael Monfils was forced to retire from their fourth-round match this afternoon.
The eighth seed was a set up and had just broken to lead 3-2 in the second when Monfils threw in the towel following an awkward fall.

Berdych won the first set 6-3 after snatching the only break of serve in a set that he dominated. The Czech will next face either Juan Monaco or 26th-seed Fernando Verdasco in the last eight.

Meanwhile, world number one, Novak Djokovic, has okayed the extra week permanently inserted into the ATP pre-Wimbledon grass court season from this summer.

“It gives you a little bit more time to prepare between the slowest surface in sport (clay) and the fastest surface in sport (grass),” he said of the new three-week span between the end of the French Open and the start of Wimbledon, which will now be played mainly in July.

But the top seed at the Miami Masters, remains convinced that the Davis Cup format, as well as parts of the ATP tournament calendar are in desperate need of a re-think.

As far as the Davis Cup goes, Djokovic said he is in favour of the proposal to play a tiebreaker in the fifth set of ties to prevent marathon matches, which often characterise the international team competition.

“I’m more in support of a tiebreak in the fifth set in any competition than for no tiebreak. That would be my answer on that.
“I support the fact to have a certain change in the sport, I think it’s the right time. As we evolve as a global sport, I think we should all strongly consider applying certain changes.

“Of course, you don’t want to change completely the game. There is a long tradition in integrity of the sport that is very recognised around the world because of that – but I believe there is some room for improvements.”

The International Tennis Federation is prepared to consider the tiebreak plan at a congress in the autumn, first signs of movement in years from the governing body.

Djokovic would like a massive streamlining of the Davis and is adamant that the century-old Davis format, must be modernised.
“The schedule is, especially for top players, is very, very bad,” he said.

“”Maybe (it should be) a two-week event every year, every two years, where you would have the top 16 teams playing in four groups of four in different locations, and then coming in the final four. That’s one of the examples.

“The important thing is to attract the top players to be there. We all love representing our countries in Olympic Games and Davis Cup, but you can’t be frequent. I speak from my personal experience.

“You have the Davis Cup schedule that is right after Wimbledon or right after Australian Open or right after US Open.
“If you’re playing finals of these events, to change the time zone and arrive from US Open to Europe in matter of two, three days and adjust from hard court outdoors to indoor clay, it’s a huge risk for injuries and so forth.

“I would like to play it more, but sometimes I have to make choices. That’s why I would strongly support to change the format as soon as possible.”
Djokovic also said that January’s Australian Open – which he has won five times – is played too early in the year.

“I still believe that Australian Open should be couple of weeks later, at least.

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