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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
Tumaini Carayol in Melbourne

Davis Cup players were ‘getting paid too much for not a lot’, claims Dan Evans

Dan Evans
Dan Evans has said he would favour a return to the old home-and-away Davis Cup format. Photograph: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images for Battle of the Brits

Dan Evans has said he is unsurprised by the demise of the Davis Cup’s partnership with Kosmos, the investment group run by Gerard Piqué, noting that the large sums of prize money offered to players and federations were unsustainable.

“It is disappointing that they can’t keep filling our pockets! It was a matter of time, wasn’t it? We were getting paid a little too much for not a lot, I guess. But you get it while you can,” said Evans.

On Thursday night, the International Tennis Federation confirmed that it would be cancelling its contract with Kosmos with immediate effect. The ITF and Kosmos had entered a 25-year agreement in 2018 with the group promising to invest $3bn and which led to the Davis Cup controversially changing format to a World Cup-style event and a finals week.

Since its announcement, the deal had widely been predicted to be unsustainable financially. Kosmos attempted to renegotiate the contract but the ITF opted to cancel instead. As a result, while the event will continue with its planned format this year, the future of the Davis Cup is unclear.

Evans says he would welcome the Davis Cup reverting to its earlier state, arguing that while the current legends and their generation had opted out of the previous iteration of the Davis Cup, most young players would be willing to play the competition in its previous home and away format.

“We changed it when I don’t think it necessarily needed the whole format changing. There’s people out there who are pumped to play three out of five for three days and win the tournament and I’d still be happy to do that,” said Evans.

Meanwhile, Jack Draper’s excellent run in Adelaide came to an end on Friday as he was defeated 7-6 (8), 6-7 (2), 6-3 by Kwon Soon-woo of South Korea in a gruelling, tight semi-final. Draper will now head to Melbourne where he faces a quick turnaround before his marquee first-round match with the defending champion and top seed, Rafael Nadal.

“I’ve only been on the tour for six months. It’s easy to forget that, and people think I should be winning this, should be winning that. I put that expectation on myself, as well, but at the same time I know that I have to keep on learning and keep on growing at this level,” said Draper.

In Auckland Cameron Norrie continued his strong start to the new season by defeating Jenson Brooksby 6-3, 6-4 to reach the final of the ASB Classic. Norrie will face Richard Gasquet as he looks to triumph in his former home country.

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