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Staging back-to-back ITF and ATP events is insane, says Tennis chief

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Tennis Integrity Board Chairman Philip Brook and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Chairman Chris Kermode hold a news conference. Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – Holding two world team events within a short period of time is an “insane” idea, according to Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) President Chris Kermode.

The ATP has proposed a revamped World Team Cup, starting in 2020, in partnership with Tennis Australia that will be held before the Australian Open in January.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has also planned a overhaul of the Davis Cup, leading to the formation of the World Cup of Tennis that could start at the end of November next year.

If both competitions are approved, men’s players will end their season at the World Cup of Tennis and after a very short break, start preparing for the World Team Cup and the following grand slam.

Kermode believes it would be very taxing.

“It doesn’t make any sense to have two team events. Personally I think that would be insane. Let’s just hope that doesn’t happen,” Kermode, who is also the ATP’s executive chairman, told BBC Sport.

“… Davis Cup is a sports entity that has been around for hundreds of years and we value it.

“Equally the World Team Cup was an event we had for 35 years. It’s been off the shelf for a while, but could we bring that back? I think there’s clearly a demand for a huge team event that anyone can buy into.”

He said the ATP and ITF had held talks but failed to find a solution so far. The 53-year-old believes that the decision over which tournament goes ahead will be based on the players’ support for either.

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