Disappointed Australia captain Lleyton Hewitt could not help but lash out at the new-look Davis Cup format after his team lost a second straight final in Spain.
The 28-trime champions at the competition – last title two decades ago – went down to Italy in Malaga at the weekend after losing to Canada at the same venue a year earlier.
The decorated 42-year-old captain remained unimpressed with the Spanish-run competition which the International Tennis Federerations sold half a decade ago to football interests who have run it nearly into the ground.
Gone are the classic best-of-five-set format and the home-and-away concept for teams which made the event stand out.
And old-school Aussie Hewitt does not like that one bit:
“We are playing on a surface (indoor) that I’m really sick of playing on, to be honest,” the former No. 1 said after Jannik Sinner sealed the trophy for Italy with a defeat of Alex de Minaur.
“That’s not what Davis Cup is about – it’s playing on clay, grass, outdoor elements.”
Hewitt added: “It’s obviously pretty frustrating, I think, that we don’t get all the different surfaces and conditions throughout Davis Cup anymore, and especially in the big matches, as well.”
The captain made sure not to blame local Malaga officials for the format omissions of the top organisers.
“Malaga has put on a great event, in terms of what they can do with the format that they’ve got – their hands are tied.
“There’s no home-and-away and there’s no five sets (anymore), so it’s not ideal.”