Roger Federer has been slammed by a tennis journo over recent comments he made about the Davis Cup.
Federer has previously expressed his dislike of the new revamped Davis Cup format, brought in by Spanish football great Gerard Pique.
Instead of a home-and-away format over a number of months, the new Davis Cup will now be played over one week in November.
Under the much-changed structure for 2019, an 18-team event will be condensed into one week in November, featuring six groups of three, with the pool winners and two best runners-up advancing to a knockout phase.
Federer recently said his participation in the 2019 Davis Cup was highly doubtful, opining that the new format was ”designed for the future generation of players”.
But tennis pundit Catherine Whitaker has taken exception to that line of thinking, blasting Federer’s comments as a ‘cop-out’.
“I found Roger Federer’s justification for probably not playing really disappointing and an absolute cop-out to say that this was designed for the future generation of players,” she said on The Tennis Podcast.
“He knows his power in tennis. He’s well aware of it and he uses it for great good a lot of the time.
“He knows the significance and the power of him committing even for just one year, in its inaugural year, the boost that will give it.
“The message it would sent to other players, Federer is more than aware of all of that.
“So for him to say ‘it’s not really for me’, I find that really disappointing from Roger Federer.”
Federer has previously warned that “the Davis Cup should not become the Pique Cup”.
Pique confident Nadal will play in 2019 Davis Cup
Pique is confident Rafael Nadal will play and says he has “not closed any doors” on Federer being involved.
The Barcelona and Spain defender is the president and founder of Kosmos, the company promoting the new format to the competition.
Rather than ties consisting of four singles and one doubles match, played over five sets, the truncated version will see only three-set affairs, each tie comprising two singles and one doubles contest.
November is traditionally the month when top players begin their time off at the end of the season, while the ATP World Team Cup is expected to take place in Australia early in 2020.
However, Pique remains confident that the sport’s biggest names – Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic – will feature.
“I have spoken with all those players,” he told a media conference.
“With Rafa [Nadal] it is very positive. If he does not have an injury, he will be there. Rafa is very positive about this event, especially because it is taking place in Madrid.
“If the number one in the world is playing, that’s more than enough.
“On Novak [Djokovic], if he has to choose between the two, he says he will play the ATP tournament. I took the opportunity to talk to him because he represents the players and the meeting was very positive. I am confident we can reach an agreement.
“Federer is at a point in his career in which he prioritises the most important tournaments. I have talked with his people and I have not closed any doors.”