Martina Navratilova has called for a longer tennis offseason after Novak Djokovic's 2023 campaign ended in the Davis Cups semi-finals. Serbia was defeated by Italy 2-1 in the last four, and led by Jannik Sinner, the Italians went on to defeat Australia in the final to win the prestigious team event for the first time since 1976.

The consequence for those involved is that their season ended in late November, just over a month before the 2024 season begins in Australia. The already-short offseason has become ever shorter and now Navratilova, 67, took to social media to call for a longer break for players at the end of a grueling tennis year.

"Congrats to Italy for winning #DavisCup, but seriously- this tennis calendar is insanely long! Been a problem for decades and if anything it's getting worse," the nine-time Wimbledon singles winner wrote on X. "Tennis needs an offseason that's longer than what we have now...hello????"

Serbia and Italy went head-to-head in the last four of the Davis Cup finals in Malaga which saw the 24-time Grand Slam winners do battle with Sinner not once but twice. The ATP Finals runner-up showed nerves of steel to save three match points and defeat the 36-year-old 6-2 2-6 7-5 and level the tie.

In the deciding doubles match alongside compatriot Lorenzo Sonego, Sinner saved three consecutive break points against Djokovic and Miomir Kecmanovic, before winning 6-3 6-4 to secure victory. Sinner has now won two of his last three singles meetings against Djokovic and gained some revenge for his defeat in the final of the season-ending championships in Turin.

After winning the ATP Finals for a record seventh time, Djokovic spoke of his desire to bring Davis Cup glory to Serbia for the first time since 2010. Having failed in his quest, the disappointed tennis legend congratulated Italy for winning a pulsating semi-final tie before they won the entire tournament.

"Congratulations to Italy for qualifying for the finals," he said. "They deserved it. They played really well, particularly Jannik, in singles against me and then doubles, as well. He barely missed a ball the entire match. For me personally it's a huge disappointment, because I take the responsibility, obviously having three match points, being so close to winning it.

"It's unfortunate really. This is sport. When you lose for your country, the bitter feeling is even greater." Despite ending his 2023 season on a losing note, Djokovic enjoyed a phenomenal year that produced three Grand Slams and another year as the Year-End No. 1.

He became the record holder for the most number of majors won by a male by winning the French Open in June and he reached 400 total weeks as the top-ranked player, a mark no other player has reached. Should Djokovic win his beloved Australian Open for the 11th time in January 2024, he will claim his 25th major and hold the record for the most number of Grand Slam singles titles won by any male or female player.

2023-11-28T21:05:59Z dg43tfdfdgfd