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ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venue"

SOCHI, Russia (AP)-- The International Tennis Federation is considering playing future Davis Cup finals at a neutral venue.

ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti told The Associated Press on Sunday that the idea is among several proposed changes to the competition, along with fifth-set tiebreakers to prevent marathon matches.

"We are considering perhaps to have the final in a neutral venue," he said. "We considered many changes, small changes within these big basic principles that you want to defend."

Under the current system, hosting of Davis Cup matches alternates, with the host of the previous encounter between two teams becoming the traveling team for their next meeting -- even if it's the final.

Any changes to the format of the Davis Cup or the women's Fed Cup would need to be approved by the ITF's annual general meeting in September before possibly being introduced next year.

Fifth-set tiebreakers will "come very soon," Ricci Bitti said. That would prevent matches such as last month's encounter between Argentina's Leonardo Mayer and Brazil's Joao Souza, which lasted almost seven hours, with the fifth set ending 15-13.

"Tennis is becoming really competitive, the matches are very long, and I believe we cannot go against the times," Ricci Bitti said.

However, Ricci Bitti said he would not accept any changes to key principles, including playing the Davis Cup annually and the right of national federations to pick the teams.

The Davis Cup has come in for criticism over top players choosing to skip the competition, including Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, who chose not to defend their title this year, but Ricci Bitti said the ITF was doing all it could to tempt big names to compete.

"Tennis is becoming much more demanding. Today, at this level, it's very difficult to play two days in a row," he said. "We have to accept that some player will be missing. In spite of the difficulties of our format and the home and away, we have 90 percent participation, so we're very happy."

Ricci Bitti also defended tennis' anti-doping program, which is overseen by the ITF and involved 3,529 tests last year. In recent years, star players such as Andy Murray and Federer have asked for more testing.

For 2013, the last year for which the ITF has published data, it spent $1.54 million on the fight against doping, less than the winner's prize money in singles at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

"Quantity doesn't mean quality. The program in anti-doping has to be very focused, and I'm proud to say the tennis program is one of the best," he said, adding that "there could be a little bit more" testing.

The ITF has the right to retest samples for a period of eight years. This has been used in other Olympic sports to catch drug cheats from past years using modern technology, but Ricci Bitti said the ITF rarely used its right to reopen samples.

"We retain all our testing, and we can retest," he said. "I believe in sports like the Olympics, this has some value because it's one competition every four years, but we test the players continuously, so it's not so important."
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

RIP Davis Cup
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

I'm considering dumping this sport altogether and Bitti might make it an easy decision.
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Ridiculous of course, but those comments on doping are even more disturbing...
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Haha, and what would that venue be then?
That would be the end of Davis Cup.
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Apart from a few nationalist nuts nobody cares about davis cup. Yet another tennis event played in empty venues :yeah:
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Qatar in for another big final? :lol:
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

SOCHI, Russia (AP)-- The International Tennis Federation is considering playing future Davis Cup finals at a neutral venue.

ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti told The Associated Press on Sunday that the idea is among several proposed changes to the competition, along with fifth-set tiebreakers to prevent marathon matches.

"We are considering perhaps to have the final in a neutral venue," he said. "We considered many changes, small changes within these big basic principles that you want to defend."

Under the current system, hosting of Davis Cup matches alternates, with the host of the previous encounter between two teams becoming the traveling team for their next meeting -- even if it's the final.

Any changes to the format of the Davis Cup or the women's Fed Cup would need to be approved by the ITF's annual general meeting in September before possibly being introduced next year.

Fifth-set tiebreakers will "come very soon," Ricci Bitti said. That would prevent matches such as last month's encounter between Argentina's Leonardo Mayer and Brazil's Joao Souza, which lasted almost seven hours, with the fifth set ending 15-13.

"Tennis is becoming really competitive, the matches are very long, and I believe we cannot go against the times," Ricci Bitti said.

However, Ricci Bitti said he would not accept any changes to key principles, including playing the Davis Cup annually and the right of national federations to pick the teams.

The Davis Cup has come in for criticism over top players choosing to skip the competition, including Switzerland's Roger Federer and Stanislas Wawrinka, who chose not to defend their title this year, but Ricci Bitti said the ITF was doing all it could to tempt big names to compete.

"Tennis is becoming much more demanding. Today, at this level, it's very difficult to play two days in a row," he said. "We have to accept that some player will be missing. In spite of the difficulties of our format and the home and away, we have 90 percent participation, so we're very happy."

Ricci Bitti also defended tennis' anti-doping program, which is overseen by the ITF and involved 3,529 tests last year. In recent years, star players such as Andy Murray and Federer have asked for more testing.

For 2013, the last year for which the ITF has published data, it spent $1.54 million on the fight against doping, less than the winner's prize money in singles at any of the four Grand Slam tournaments.

"Quantity doesn't mean quality. The program in anti-doping has to be very focused, and I'm proud to say the tennis program is one of the best," he said, adding that "there could be a little bit more" testing.

The ITF has the right to retest samples for a period of eight years. This has been used in other Olympic sports to catch drug cheats from past years using modern technology, but Ricci Bitti said the ITF rarely used its right to reopen samples.

"We retain all our testing, and we can retest," he said. "I believe in sports like the Olympics, this has some value because it's one competition every four years, but we test the players continuously, so it's not so important."
:lol:
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Defeats the purpose of having Davis Cup. How stupid.
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Not surprising Bitti rhymes on pity.

Pathetic. Thought this new 5th set regulation would hit the bottom, but this ain't getting higher this time...
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

A useless fuddy duddy in charge as the effective figurehead of the sport.

Sounds about right for tennis.
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Those doping comments are really the nail in the coffin of the whole article :lol:
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

How ridiculously out of touch the ITF is clear in every article about them

Those doping comments :stupid: please fire this man
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

The ITF tests the players once per year on average.

"We test the players continuously, so it's not so important."

:worship: The ITF is a truly wondrous organization that is competent at every level. Tennis leads anti-doping even though cycling has 30x more tests. Quality over quantity, bruh. Income disparity in tennis is also nonexistent. Players not being able to make ends meet at the Futures level even by constantly winning is definitely the way things should be. Plebs don't deserve to have bread on the table. Too bad for them. :sad:
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Tennis is in good hands :spit:
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

As much as I love the sport of tennis, it saddens me to say that the organizations behind it are pathetically unprofessional and bordering on low-class, especially when it comes to the question of integrity and how the players are treated outside the top guys.
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

I agree with moving the final to a neutral venue actually, though there won't be as many people flying over like in football. Perhaps turning it to a two week event would be better: 4 groups, then QF, SF, F.
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

I agree with moving the final to a neutral venue actually, though there won't be as many people flying over like in football. Perhaps turning it to a two week event would be better: 4 groups, then QF, SF, F.
There won't be any people flying over. Maybe the head of the tennis associations might make the trip. Maybe.
 

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Re: ITF president:"We are considering to have the [Davis Cup] final in a neutral venu

Play it on the Moon, more of an atmopshere.
 
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