About 10 years ago, I had a lifelong memory when I was asked to practice with Pete Sampras for a day when he was in New York City while his wife was filming for a movie. Except for the fact that he stuck me for the court and ball fee even though he made about 600 times more than me that year, he was really a very nice guy. We talked during the water breaks and the topic of Davis Cup came up. It was the end of his career and I asked him why he never played Davis Cup and he told me a story about a match and how he is tired of playing his heart out while nobody cared. The way he told it, I did sympathize.
Fast forward to this past weekend. The U.S shockingly swept Switzerland in Switzerland. Pretty darn cool. I can't say I watched any of it because I didn't. Was it on tv? I guess, Tennis Channel but I don't really know. Isner, Fish and Bryan definitely deserve their props but I really doubt that when Isner comes to New York for next year's U.S. Open, his big Davis Cup win is going to be on anybody's mind.
I am a traditionalist when it comes to sports. If it were up to me, there would still be ties in hockey games, there would be no first-down lines on football broadcasts, music wouldnt be played during NBA games (although defense would) and major league baseball would go back to two divisions in each league without a wildcard. But I say, change Davis Cup. Something I can't stand (and I have never heard anybody complain about) is the format. It only takes two players win the Davis Cup. Two! That doesn't tell me which country plays the best tennis! Now, if you make it something similar to a college format format. That would be exciting. Six singles, three doubles. Of course, there would need to be logistics to work out, but that would be more fun and more of a barometer of which country has the best tennis.
Ricky Becker is The Director of Tennis at the prestigious Pine Hollow Country Club and independently coaches high-performance juniors year-round predominantly at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. As a player, Becker was awarded Most Valuable Player for the 1996 NCAA Championship Stanford Tennis Team and 1989-1992 Roslyn High School Teams. He was ranked number one in the Eastern Section and fourth in the United States in the 18-and-unders. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 516-359-4843 or via JuniorTennisConsulting.com.