Davis Cup set for revamp with World Cup of Tennis Finals

Published by TenniSmash

The French Davis Cup team celebrates its 2017 triumph over Belgium in Lille; Getty Images
Major changes are proposed for the 2019 Davis Cup that would see the World Group decided over seven days at a single venue.

Home-and-away ties are to be scrapped and an 18-nation World Cup of Tennis Finals introduced in plans for a radical overhaul of the Davis Cup World Group.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced proposals for sweeping changes to the World Group for 2019, with the plan set to be voted on in August.

Eighteen teams will contest the new season-ending event at a “world-class location” over seven days in November, during the traditional week of the Davis Cup final.

> DAVIS CUP CHANGES: tennis twitter reacts

The proposals are the result of a 25-year, US$3bn partnership with investment group Kosmos, led by Barcelona FC soccer star Gerard Pique, and Tokyo-based e-commerce company Rakuten.

Final approval will be sought via a two-thirds majority at the ITF Annual General Meeting in August.

Among the proposed changes are:

  • World Group home-and-away ties replaced by a week-long Finals event at a single venue.
  • Eighteen teams involved, with a Zone Group I promotion/relegation play-off included.
  • Sixteen World Group nations qualify automatically, plus a further two nations to be selected.
  • Round-robin format begins with six groups of three, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and final.
  • Ties consist of two singles and one doubles rubber, each best-of-three sets.
  • Teams made up of four players.

David Haggerty, the ITF president, said: “This is a complete game-changer for the ITF and for tennis.

“Our vision is to create a major season-ending finale that will be a festival of tennis and entertainment, featuring the world’s greatest players representing their nations to decide the Davis Cup champions.

“This new partnership will not only create a true World Cup of Tennis but will also unlock record levels of new investment for future generations of tennis players and fans around the world.”

Under the new proposals, the zone group competition, below World Group level, will continue to be played on a home-and-away basis across the traditional three weeks of Davis Cup play during the season.

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