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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 18 November 2018

Roger Federer says he ignored deadline set by organisers of revamped Davis Cup

Speaking at Swiss Indoors, where he won 99th career ATP Tour title, world No 3 says he opted out of any commitment after being given three days to decide

Former world No 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland did not commit to the newly-constituted Davis Cup. Reuters
Former world No 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland did not commit to the newly-constituted Davis Cup. Reuters

Roger Federer has revealed that organisers of the re-launched and condensed Davis Cup gave him three days to decide if he would commit to the controversial competition.

Speaking at the Swiss Indoors tournament, where he won his 99th career ATP Tour title on Sunday by beating qualifier Marius Copil 7-6, 6-4 in the final, the world No 3 said that given the impossibly short time frame to make a decision, he opted out of any commitment.

"They only left me three days to decide," Federer said. "I didn't to have time to consult with all the people I had to consult.

"I could not make a decision in that time, so I told them to do what they wanted."

The 20-time grand slam champion has voiced doubts about the wisdom of the one-week format to be introduced by organisers Kosmos, who have promised the International Tennis Federation up to US$3 billion (Dh11bn) in prize money over the next quarter-century.

The competition is set to feature 18 countries in the November 18-24 finals in Madrid next year, and will replace the classic home-and-away ties played four times per year for decades.

Kosmos is headed by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, who is hoping fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal will play in the upcoming event.

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A company run by Barcelona player Gerard Pique is involved with the revamping of the Davis Cup. Reuters
A company run by Barcelona player Gerard Pique is involved with the revamping of the Davis Cup. Reuters

Novak Djokovic has said he will give precedence to the ATP's intended re-launch of the defunct World Team Cup in January 2020, at various Australian venues.

Major players feel that a big event in late November combined with one in January before the Australian Open will mean too much tennis and too little rest.

Federer said earlier this month in Shanghai in that his chances of playing the Davis Cup were all but non-existent.

"I highly doubt it, of course. We'll see what happens," he said.

"I don't think this was designed for me, anyhow. This was designed for the future generation of players."

Argentina and Britain received wild cards to the new-look event, and will compete along with the four 2018 semi-finalists and the 12 teams who win qualifying rounds next February.

"I don't like being under that kind of pressure," Federer said of the deadline Kosmos handed him.