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Rivalries Of 2019: Federer vs. Tsitsipas

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2019

Rivalries Of 2019: Federer vs. Tsitsipas

ATP Tour Season In Review: Best Rivalries

To kick off our Season In Review series, revisits the fiercest rivalries of 2019. Today we feature Roger Federer vs. Stefanos Tsitsipas.

Stefanos Tsitsipas is among the legion of 20-somethings on the ATP Tour who counted Roger Federer among their heroes growing up. But for the lucky few, including Tsitsipas, Federer has also become their rival.

The 21-year-old Greek faced off with the 20-time Grand Slam champion four times in 2019. Fans savoured it all: the intergenerational battle, the one-handed backhands and fans’ internal conflict between rooting for more success for Federer, who turned 38 in August, but also supporting the exuberant underdog hungry to win everything.


Australian Open, Round Of 16, Tsitsipas d. Federer 6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5)
To start the year in Melbourne, Tsitsipas and Federer kicked off one of the storylines of the 2019 season: Just how close would the Next Generation get to knocking the Big Three off their pedestal?

Ahead of the 2019 Australian Open, the Big Three had won 48 of the past 62 major championships since Federer’s first Grand Slam title at 2003 Wimbledon. And although Tsitsipas and his #NextGenATP cohort wouldn’t slow down Big Three dominance at Grand Slams this year, the Greek did his part in Melbourne against the six-time Australian Open champion Federer, who had won back-to-back titles in 2017 (d. Nadal) and 2018 (d. Cilic).

Tsitsipas came up big on serve again and again in the Round of 16 showdown, foreshadowing what was to come in their rivalry. Serving down 6-7(11), 4-5, Tsitsipas saved four set points and won the final four points of the second-set tie-break to even the match.

“I have massive regrets tonight… I felt like I had to win the second set,” Federer said. “I don’t care how I do it, but I had to do it.”

Tsitsipas surged with confidence from there and saved all 12 break points to become the first Greek player to reach a Grand Slam quarter-final after three hours and 45 minutes.

It was a very emotional moment. It was a beginning of something really big. I felt joy. I felt happiness. I felt a huge relief going out of my shoulders,” Tsitsipas said.

The 2018 Next Gen ATP Finals champion beat Roberto Bautista Agut to make his first Grand Slam semi-final and follow the trail blazed by South Korea’s Hyeon Chung, who won the 2017 Next Gen ATP Finals title and reached the Australian Open semi-finals two months later.

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, F, Federer d. Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4
Federer, however, would not have to wait long to gain revenge against the Greek. In March in Dubai, the Swiss was trying to join American Jimmy Connors (109) and become only the second player in history to win 100 tour-level titles.

Federer won No. 99 in October 2018 at his home tournament, the Swiss Indoors Basel, and in his first opportunity to join the “Century Club”, he pounced. Federer quickly put the Melbourne loss behind him, breaking Tsitsipas twice and saving both break points faced to win in only 69 minutes.

Federer won his eighth Dubai title, making it four tournaments where he has won eight or more crowns (Halle, Wimbledon, Basel).

I think this one has a deep satisfaction, an immediate one, because I know what it means. I like these types of numbers or records,” Federer said.

A lot of people always emphasise all the Slams and all these things. I play on the ATP Tour. This is where I’ve won so many of them, been around for so long. I don’t rest between Slams all the time, like people think I might be. But I’m not. I think this number proves that. I think that’s why this was a very exciting week for me.”

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a> celebrates his 100th title after triumphing in Dubai

Swiss Indoors Basel, SF, Federer d. Tsitsipas 6-4, 6-4
Some things in tennis seem like they’ll never change. Federer, with his aggressive and attacking style, dominates on quick surfaces, and his home courts in Basel fit that description.

Heading into this year’s edition, Federer’s 19th appearance, the home favourite had won his past 20 matches and owned a 71-9 record at the ATP 500.

But Tsitsipas, after a mid-season slump that included a first-round exit at Wimbledon and seeking inspiration from a book about Federer, was back to his old self, making the final in Beijing and the semi-finals at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai.

The Greek, however, could not slow down Federer. In a match that resembled the Dubai final, Federer broke twice to beat the #NextGenATP star in 79 minutes.

Federer won his 10th Basel title and his 103rd overall. The former Basel ball kid remembered to have a pizza party for the ball kids as well.

<a href=''>Roger Federer</a>

Nitto ATP Finals, SF, Tsitsipas d. Federer 6-3, 6-4
Tsitsipas, though, saved his best for last at the Nitto ATP Finals in London. The 21-year-old was making his debut at the season finale and facing Federer, who holds the most season finale titles (six), for a place in the Nitto ATP Finals title match.

Federer had qualified for the semi-finals with one of his performances of the season, a 6-4, 6-3 win against No. 2 Novak Djokovic that saw the Swiss hit 23 winners to only five unforced errors. But Tsitsipas had won his group, going 2-1 and pushing World No. 1 Rafael Nadal to three sets in his only defeat.

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Tsitsipas: From Milan To London, The Emotions Of A Dream Come True

Against Federer in the semi-finals, their fourth and final FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting of the season, Tsitsipas played as if he were in Melbourne again. The Greek saved 11 of 12 break points to advance in straight sets and again leave Federer wondering, “What if?”

The next day, Tsitsipas would beat Dominic Thiem for the Nitto ATP Finals title, his biggest crown to date, marking the completion of his transition from Next Gen ATP Finals titlist in Milan to Nitto ATP Finals champion in London.

I remember myself being one of these kids here, watching the event and… I could never picture myself standing here, but it did happen,” Tsitsipas said after being Federer. “Dreams do come true.”

Watch: Tsitsipas’ Journey From Milan To London

Federer vs. Tsitsipas






Australian Open


Round of 16


6-7(11), 7-6(3), 7-5, 7-6(5)

Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships




6-4, 6-4

Swiss Indoors Basel




6-4, 6-4

Nitto ATP Finals




6-3, 6-4

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Isner Launches The Isner Family Foundation

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2019

Isner Launches The Isner Family Foundation

American provides insight into his new foundation’s mission

John Isner has openly spoken about his mother’s battle against cancer and how much that has affected his family. Now the American is launching the Isner Family Foundation to provide support to hospitals in the Dallas-Forth Worth area to contribute towards others receiving world-class treatment to aid in their own battles.

“Cancer is something that affects a lot of people for those who get it, but it also affects their families. I think everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer in a pretty negative way,” Isner told “But fortunately for our family, ours had a positive outcome. That’s what the foundation wants to touch on, to raise funds for incredible treatment, treatment like my mother got in North Carolina. It’s pediatric, but it’s not just pediatric care. Good, quality care in hospitals in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is what the foundation’s going to focus on.”

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My Point: Isner Inspired By Mom’s Courage

Isner has long participated in a myriad of charitable activities, whether supporting a fellow tennis player’s foundation or contributing to various causes. So why launch his own foundation now?

“I think mainly it’s because I have definite roots now in Dallas, Texas. This is where my family is going to be. Also on top of that I’ve gotten to know a lot of nice people in this town and I think it’s just a good opportunity for me, for my family to do a lot of good,” Isner said. “This is not just something for while I’m still playing. This is something that I want to continue when I’m not playing tennis. I have a good team of people that I’m working with on the foundation, so I think it can be very successful going forward.”

Read: Knowles, Blake, Haas & Bryan Support Hurricane Dorian Relief Efforts
Learn More About ATP ACES For Charity
ATP ACES For Charity: Isner

The American joins a large number of tennis players who have launched foundations both during and after their careers. The 34-year-old is excited to follow in their footsteps.

“I think it’s very nice. My friends before me, especially for American men’s tennis, have launched foundations before with Mardy Fish, James Blake and Andy Roddick’s foundation, which of course has been incredibly successful,” Isner said. “I just think it’s something that I’m definitely glad I started to do now and I also think it’s a very good time for it now just given the fact that I’m going to be in Dallas for a very long time. It’s a good spot for it and I’m in a good spot to devote a lot of time to it as well.”

Isner announced the launch of the Isner Family Foundation on 13 November, the same day he revealed that the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center named its multidisciplinary clinic in honour of Karen Isner, his mother, a two-time cancer survivor who underwent her treatment at that facility in North Carolina. Isner’s hometown is Greensboro, North Carolina.

“It was very cool. It was something that was a pretty long time in the making and glad I was able to do that,” Isner said. “That’s a cause that’s very close to my family, so it was a very cool day.”

Did You Know?
In 2014, Isner received a $15,000 grant from ATP ACES For Charity for the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.

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Nadal Celebrates 200 Weeks At No. 1 In ATP Rankings

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2019

Nadal Celebrates 200 Weeks At No. 1 In ATP Rankings pays tribute to the World No. 1 on another milestone day

Rafael Nadal is today celebrating his 200th week at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

Only five other players since 1973 have been ranked at the summit of men’s professional tennis for more weeks: Jimmy Connors (268), Ivan Lendl (270), Novak Djokovic (275), Pete Sampras (286) and record-holder Roger Federer (310).


No. 1 Player
Total Weeks
Longest Streak
Roger Federer
237 weeks
Pete Sampras
102 weeks
Novak Djokovic
122 weeks
Ivan Lendl
157 weeks
Jimmy Connors
160 weeks
Rafael Nadal
56 weeks

Nadal, who replaced Djokovic at World No. 1 on 4 November, enjoyed a stellar 2019 season, capturing four titles — including two Grand Slams (Roland Garros and the US Open) and two ATP Masters 1000s (Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome and the Coupe Rogers in Montreal) — and compiling a 58-7 match record. He also reached the Australian Open final (l. to Djokovic) in January and has contested three Grand Slam finals in a calendar year on four occasions (also 2010-11, 2017).

The 33-year-old, who first rose to the top spot on 18 August 2008, is the oldest player to finish year-end No. 1 in the history of the ATP Rankings (since 1973). He is also the fifth player to finish the year at No. 1 on five or more occasions, following in the footsteps of Sampras (6), Connors (5), Federer (5) and Djokovic (5).

Nadal (9,985) has an 840-point lead over Djokovic (9,145) in the ATP Rankings. Nadal will begin his 2020 ATP Tour season representing Spain at the inaugural ATP Cup in Perth, while Djokovic features for Serbia in Brisbane.

AT 200 WEEKS AT NO. 1… – Look at the ages and records of Federer, Sampras, Lendl, Connors, Djokovic and Nadal in their 200th week at No. 1 in the ATP Rankings.

No. 1 Player
Date Achieved
W-L Record
Roger Federer
3 December 2007
26 years, 117 days
551-134 (.804)
53 (12 majors)
Pete Sampras
24 November 1997
26 years, 104 days
557-150 (.788)
52 (10 majors)
Novak Djokovic
23 May 2016
29 years, 1 day
723-149 (.829)
64 (11 majors)
Ivan Lendl
3 April 1989
29 years, 27 days
563-98 (.852)
76 (7 majors)
Jimmy Connors
26 June 1978
25 years, 297 days
544-88 (.861)
66 (4 majors)
Rafael Nadal
25 November 2019
33 years, 175 days
977-197 (.829)
84 (19 majors)

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Davis Cup: What worked, what didn't & what needs to change

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2019

With Rafael Nadal falling flat on his back on the baseline, his triumphant team-mates running on court to pile on top of him and a partisan home stadium rocking with pride, it was a familiar scene as Spain lifted the Davis Cup.

Yet, while the celebrations were similar to many we have seen in previous years, the host nation’s first success since 2011 came at the end of a very different week in Madrid.

Unlike in the past, Spain’s victory over Canada was not the only Davis Cup tie to take place in November as the tournament culminated. Instead it was the end of an 18-nation finals self-styled as the ‘World Cup of Tennis’.

The football-style knockout tournament, a bold concept conceived and financially backed by Barcelona defender Gerard Pique and his Kosmos investment group, faced a barrage of criticism before it had even started.

And, as with any new event, especially one of such size and stature, there were teething problems in the Spanish capital.

But there were also many memorable moments in what proved to be a high-quality tournament on the court.

Here, BBC Sport analyses what worked in the new-look finals, what perhaps didn’t and the lessons that must be learned before next year’s event.

  • Spain beat Canada to win Davis Cup
  • Jamie Murray column on Davis Cup improvements

The star names sprinkle stardust on the new finals

For years, the common consensus had been the 119-year competition needed to change.

Top players, worried about burn out on the punishing ATP Tour, were regularly not turning out to play in a 16-team world group that saw home and away ties spread over four weekends throughout the year.

Pique, a tennis fan said to have been a promising junior player, was the catalyst for change.

But his intervention, and the changing of a tradition which had existed in the previous format since 1981, was not welcomed by tennis die-hards, including the most recognisable player on the planet.

Swiss great Roger Federer resisted the change and urged that the competition should not become the “Pique Cup”.

While the 20-time Grand Slam champion was not present in Madrid after Switzerland failed to qualify three of the other ‘Big Four’ did play.

Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray were the star names present as 11 of the world’s top 20 singles players also appeared at the event. Russian world number four Daniil Medvedev and German world number seven Alexander Zverev were the only members of the world’s top 10 who pulled out in spite of their nations qualifying.

The presence of so many key players was seen as an encouraging sign by Pique and ITF chief David Haggerty.

“When we started a few years ago with the project of the new format, what we wanted basically was that the top players participate in the competition. I think that was a fact,” Pique said.

“You saw here the top players playing and representing their countries.”

Whether that will continue to be the case largely depends if a merger with January’s 24-nation ATP Cup – created by the men’s tour and attracting all the top-ranked players except Federer – can ever be agreed to avoid a situation where two men’s team events take place within close proximity of each other.

Different format, same emotions stirred

Try telling those competing in Madrid – and their compatriots who had spent time and money travelling there – that the new format had devalued the competition as some suggested.

World number one Nadal tore around the Caja Magica as he won all eight of his singles and double rubbers to inspire the Spanish.

Novak Djokovic along with the entire Serbia team were left close to tears following a dramatic quarter-final loss to Russia. In an emotional news conference post match, Djokovic’s doubles partner Viktor Troicki – who played a woeful third-set tie-break – said he felt “the worst ever” after been given the chance to “be the hero, only for God to take it away”.

Former world number one Andy Murray was contorted with nervous emotion as he watched his older brother Jamie and Neal Skupski try to put their nation into the final by beating Nadal and Feliciano Lopez in a decisive doubles rubber.

And try telling Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut, who was left in tears after winning his singles rubber against Canada three days after the death of his father, that representing his country was still not of significant pride and honour.

Fears the emotion could be sucked out of the competition proved wide of the mark, although it remains to be seen what a finals weekend without the host nation competing would look like.

Empty seats for most matches – give them to the kids?

Patriotism was not in short supply in the stands either.

Clearly that peaked during the Spanish ties where the Caja Magica stands were a sea of red-and-yellow flags as the partisan home crowd, encouraged to make noise by a jaunty brass band and a man barking out instructions through a football terrace-style megaphone, willed their team towards a first Davis Cup triumph since 2011.

That understandably gave those matches a flavour of the ‘old’ Davis Cup – and an advantage to Spain.

While some other teams were well backed – notably Great Britain, Canada and Kazakhstan, thanks to the help of their national federation – other matches were played out in half-full arenas.

Even Saturday’s first semi-final between Canada and Russia saw huge swathes of empty red seats.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) offered 875 free tickets to British fans for the semi-final against Spain – at a cost of about £60,000 – and British captain Leon Smith thinks there should be an arrangement between organisers and the governing bodies of all 18 finalists to subside support in the future.

“The most important thing about Davis Cup is obviously trying to maintain the atmosphere,” he said.

“Why doesn’t that become the norm that there’s X amount of investment given to each federation to get a core group of fans?”

Spain’s two group games and Sunday’s final were the only ties to officially sell out the 12,500 capacity Manolo Santana court, according to the tournament’s online ticket portal.

“I do think the organisers missed an opportunity there by not giving the unsold tickets to schoolchildren and getting them in to watch the matches,” British player Jamie Murray said in his BBC Sport column.

“That would have been a good idea and would have exposed young kids – the future of the sport as potential players and fans – to tennis.”

A second venue in Madrid would prevent 4am finishes

While Spanish custom dictates the nation generally stays awake until the early hours, a major problem which arose was ridiculously late finishes in some matches with ties outlasting all but the most nocturnal of fans.

The group tie between the United States and Italy was the most startling, eye-rubbing example, finally ending at 04:04 local time to become the second latest finish in top-level tennis history behind Lleyton Hewitt’s win over Marcos Baghdatis at the 2008 Australian Open which ended at 4:33am.

“We expect that some games will be finished late, but obviously 4am was too late,” Pique said.

“That day all the games, they were very long.

“But we will have to be more creative in the future. I think this is not a big issue. It’s something we have to think how we do it.”

Britain’s Jamie Murray has suggested the finals should be split across two venues in Madrid next year, enabling one court to host one tie every day rather than two sessions.

When asked if the Spanish capital’s WiZink Center could be used next year, or where a fourth court could be built at the Caja Mágica, Pique said both options “are right now are on the table”.

Too focused on TV fans and not those there?

Between 800 and 1,000 British fans roared their team on in each of their four matches, with some staying for the whole week in the hope of seeing the 2015 champions end victorious again.

The majority of supporters appeared to savour the sense of occasion that mixing with fans from all over the world brought, although a large portion still bemoaned the loss of the previous home-and-away format.

“It is a fantastic atmosphere, we’ve talked to people from loads of different countries,” said Pam Flatman, who flew over from Norfolk with husband Wayne and their friend Mac Boreham. “It brings people together and from that perspective it’s a good thing.”

One common gripe among fans of all nationalities was they felt the tournament was more geared towards the needs of armchair fans than those actually in Madrid.

“There are no screens dotted around, so there is no information from the other matches,” said Mac. “At Wimbledon you know what’s happening but here you know nothing.”

Pam added: “Scoreboards and TVs outside in the concourses are necessary – and more outside heaters because the Madrid winter can be very chilly. It’s been freezing standing out here.”

The tournament also ended with a tinge of disappointment for fans at the venue. Spain lifted the trophy with many supporters having already left the arena, unwilling to sit through an unnecessarily elaborate and time-consuming setting up of the presentation stage.

Those trying keeping up-to-date with the action from afar reported a series of issues.

Technological glitches surfaced on the official Davis Cup finals information channels – including website, mobile app and stadium televisions – which ranged from comical errors to more serious issues of fan engagement.

While British number one Dan Evans’ profile featuring a faceless image instead of a photograph like everyone else was not the end of the world, nor was Germany’s team page describing Zverev – absent and a harsh vocal critic – as the ‘star of the their team’, the fundamental ability to update scores and competing players correctly was a failure.

Often, the scores of matches were wrong and slow to update, while Britain were apparently represented by Argentine Guido Pella in their quarter-final against Germany.

Selling television rights proved to be a problem in some major markets, with the tournament not shown on a major American broadcaster and only being available to British television audience at a late stage when Eurosport stepped in to secure the rights.

Another peculiarity was the decision to set up new Twitter and Instagram accounts under the ‘Davis Cup finals’ banner rather than use the existing Davis Cup accounts which have a combined 500,000 followers.

Although the behind-the-scenes content was excellent – fun, interactive and engaging – and retweeted by the main Davis Cup accounts in a bid to build the brand, the new accounts only had a combined 60,000 followers which leads a suspicion that reach was not as wide as it could have been.

“Our vision is to make sure this is seen in as many places by as many people and followed around the world. That’s something that, again, is something we can improve,” Pique added.

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ATP Cup: Why Monday Is Borna's Favourite Day Of The Week

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2019

ATP Cup: Why Monday Is Borna’s Favourite Day Of The Week

Coric reflects on his idols growing up, what he loves about Croatia and more

Borna Coric, the No. 1 player from Croatia, helped his country qualify for the inaugural ATP Cup, to take place from 3-12 January. Croatia, one of the first 18 countries to qualify, was drawn into Group E, and is set to face Austria, Argentina and Poland in Sydney.

Coric has enjoyed recent success in Australia, reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open this year. The two-time ATP Tour titlist spoke to about which Croatians he admired growing up, what it’s like to play on a team and why he is excited for this first-year 24-team event.

Why are you excited about competing in the ATP Cup?
It is going to be something different. We never had that and I am just really looking forward to seeing how it is going to look and how the courts are going to be. There are not many tournaments which I haven’t played on the calendar, to be honest, so I am always looking forward when I have something new. Especially now, with this new format as well. 

When you come to the US Open for the seventh time, eighth time or 10th time, you know everything, you have some routine and you know how things are going. There it is going to be new. It is going to be again with a team, so that is also very exciting.

You don’t get to play much on a team, so what will be special about playing on a team with your countrymen?
It is great. It is a special feeling, for sure. You don’t get many chances to do it. For the whole team it is a bit different because we are used to being alone all the time, not having too much company, just with our team which is small, maybe one or two people. So it is definitely different.

You have much more fun, but also when you play I think you give even more of yourself [when] you play for a team, you play for a country and so automatically you are going to push a little more.

Which countrymen did you watch growing up and what did you admire about them?
That was Goran Ivanisevic. Obviously, he was a Croatian legend. I was watching also Ivan Ljubicic and also Mario Ancic… Those three I was watching.

What were your early memories of playing tennis in Croatia as a kid?
Just playing every week in some tournament in some other city in Croatia. I remember we all wanted to go to the final, because the final was always on a Monday, so you wouldn’t need to go to school. That was great. That was awesome. That was one of the memories which I had back then.

I did not want to go to school and that was something cool. You could just play the match on a Monday and it was a final, so that was great. 

If you could take one shot from anyone in your country, what would it be and why?
I would take Goran Ivanisevic and Ivan Ljubicic’s serves, for sure. Everything else? I am really happy with my shots.

Who is the funniest player from your country and why?
Mate Delic. He stopped playing one year ago. 

What are three things you love about Croatia?
Sea, food and wine.

What is a phrase, word or sentence that reminds you of home?
It is my favourite song,  [a Croatian song]: ‘Malo mi za srecu triba’.

What percentage of the Croatian national anthem can you sing?
I think 100 per cent, but I am going to need some melody.

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Davis Cup improvements and thoughts of going vegan – Jamie Murray column

  • Posted: Nov 25, 2019

In his final BBC Sport column at the Davis Cup in Madrid, Jamie Murray discusses Great Britain’s semi-final exit against a Spain side inspired by Rafael Nadal, the lessons that need to be learned from the inaugural finals and trying veganism.

Overall the Great Britain team had a very good week at the Davis Cup finals, reaching the semi-finals and with all of us enjoying being part of the new-look tournament.

Although the manner of the semi-final defeat by Spain is going to hurt Neal Skupski and me for a little while, it was a great match against Rafael Nadal and Feliciano Lopez in the deciding doubles.

It was exciting and the crowd were right into it – that’s what the Davis Cup is for me.

It is just a shame Rafa and Feli were so inspired!

I couldn’t touch Rafa’s serve; everything was 195kph on the lines.

On one of the set points we had, I had a volley I could have maybe done a bit better with but it was a good return close to the net, it wasn’t easy to deal with it.

Then Rafa had that amazing lob from full stretch forwards on another, which is pretty tough to do.

It is unfortunate, but you’ve got to give Rafa and Feli massive credit.

  • Spain beat Canada to win Davis Cup
  • GB should be excited for future after reaching semi-final – captain Smith

The match helped show again what a great sport doubles is, that it is so fun and exciting.

In this case, it was a contrast of styles, with singles players going against specialist doubles players with different skill sets.

It was a good platform for doubles to show itself in its best light.

To see Rafa fighting so hard for his country in the decisive doubles rubber was cool. Obviously those top singles players aren’t playing every week – but when they do, it is exciting and it elevates our discipline.

‘Pique would be silly not to talk to the players’

For the players, the tournament was a positive experience. I particularly enjoyed seeing all the players and fans from 18 different nations being in the same place and wearing their national colours – and I thought organisers Kosmos did a good job from our perspective.

With this new ‘World Cup of tennis’ event being such a radical change from the old home-and-away format, there were always likely to be some issues and there are obviously a couple of major things that need to be addressed going ahead.

One is the scheduling because some matches weren’t finishing until the early morning, including one at 4:04am between the United States and Italy.

A solution could be to have a second venue in Madrid, somewhere that’s got two or three courts like the Caja Magica.

That would mean matches could be split across both venues and played in one day-to-evening session, instead of a day session followed by a night session like this year.

If they had six courts, the three at the Caja Magica and three somewhere else, then they can have one tie on each court and start at midday or early afternoon.

That would see play go through to the evening or until about 10pm and stop the late finishes we have seen this week.

The second issue is getting the stadiums fuller for all of the matches, because only the Spain matches were sold out.

We were fortunate we had a lot of British fans who travelled to the event and made it a good atmosphere for all the matches we played. It wasn’t like that for all the other matches.

I do think the organisers missed an opportunity there by not giving the unsold tickets to schoolchildren and getting them in to watch the matches.

That would have been a good idea and would have exposed young kids – the future of the sport as potential players and fans – to tennis.

Once the tournament finishes, I would hope that Kosmos president Gerard Pique and the International Tennis Federation speak to the players to get our views on the week. I think it would be silly not to.

I’m sure they are already aware of the good and the bad things from this week and they need to address the things that didn’t work.

With them investing so much money into the event, they will want it perfect.

I think there were positives this week and they will want to build on them to make next year even better.

‘I’ve tried eating vegan and would consider becoming fully vegan after tennis’

When we were playing in Basel last month, I posted a picture of a few of the British guys – me, Neal Skupski, Dan Evans, his coach Mark Hilton and our Davis Cup captain Leon Smith – with a caption ‘Back the (vegan) Brits’.

Evo is vegan and Hilts is doing it, so we were all eating vegan that week, going to a Thai restaurant every night for vegan food.

I’ve tried veganism before. I’m not fully vegan but I think as a base diet, the staple of your diet, it is really good.

But I find it too hard to maintain when I’m travelling and also it is about making sure you get enough content to eat. If I’m at home, I can control it but sometimes when I’m travelling it is out of your control, in terms of what food they provide at tournaments.

I did it for a couple of weeks after the French Open and I lost about two and a half to three kilos.

That tells you I probably needed to lose it, or I could afford to lose it, but I wasn’t eating as much as I needed to – that’s why I was losing the weight because I wasn’t getting the calories in.

It’s tough to say if that weight loss affected my training levels or performance, positively or negatively. I couldn’t honestly say if it was beneficial or not, I don’t know.

I think if I was eating enough food, then going vegan full-time would be fine, but at the time I was training a lot and not getting enough calories.

That was because I was getting food delivered each day, which had a certain amount of calories that I wasn’t used to and I wasn’t topping up loads.

I like the ethics of veganism and for me the biggest thing was for my own health.

Post-career, I would maybe think about becoming fully vegan. You have less appetite because you are not working out as much and need to be more aware and careful – as you need to keep the weight off otherwise you would balloon!

Jamie Murray was talking to BBC Sport’s Jonathan Jurejko in Madrid.

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