Nominally it is still the Davis Cup, but the tournament now taking place in Madrid should really be re-named the Gerard Piqué Cup since it bears no more relation to the old Davis Cup than T20 does to Test cricket. The Davis Cup is being revamped by the Barcelona defender and his company Kosmos Tennis into a World Cup-style format with investment to the tune of $3 billion euro. This doesn’t mean it is necessarily a bad thing; merely that it is a very different thing.

It is being played over one week rather than over months with long intervals between ties. Instead of one team being at home and the other away, it’s a neutral venue. Instead of five matches in each tie, there are three (two singles and one doubles) and instead of being played over five sets, each match is over only three. So it’s a cut-down version.

There were objections to the format of the real Davis Cup. Matches were scattered over the year. The number of possible ties made demands on leading players which they were not always willing to meet. Their tournament year was already congested. The Davis Cup offered no ranking points and there wasn’t much money in it. So quite often top players declined to represent their country, and their absence was said to devalue the competition.