Former world number four Sebastien Grosjean has spoken about the Davis Cup Finals, describing the event in its current guise as ‘terrible.’
The French captain says the Hamburg crowd is not interested in matches that do not feature, meaning the nations that don’t play at home will not feel any real support.
Gorsjean is especially concerned about the disadvantage that causes for Australia who have no travelling fans. However, he also thinks about his team, who will have at most thirty people in tow in the matches against Australia and Belgium.
"It’s terrible - Grosjean told L’Equipe. “Only 200 people for two nations with a great tradition in the Davis Cup."
"Organizers are looking for the right format for this competition. Next year will be the same."
Grosjean, though, has suggested a solution, adding: "I think it is necessary to spread the matches over two years, with the same format: two matches per season, with the first round and the quarter-finals the same year, and the semi-final and the final the following year. Then a play-off match for those who cannot access it. In this way, I think we can make the competition more inclusive.”
In the past, says Grosjean, the French, Australians and Belgians filled stadiums of 4,000-5,000 people, even in the first rounds. Despite the current discontent, though, he says the players’ passion for the Davis Cup remains.
"For players it is an honour and something to be proud of playing for the French national team,” he explained. “It is a tradition.”
Jan-Lennard Struff, who played for Germany as they beat France 2-1 in their tie, echoed Grosjean’s concerns, and he has placed the blame on the ticket prices.
"I was not frightened, nor surprised, to see empty stands,” said Struff. “I knew it in advance because you are aware of how many tickets were sold.
“Why were there few fans? Simple, the cheapest tickets cost 75 euros and people cannot and do not want to spend so much to see a tennis match. It is inadmissible."
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