Davis Cup set for big changes
Originally published on 26/02/18 00:00
The ITF board has unanimously supported a proposal to create a major new annual season-ending World Cup of Tennis Finals that will crown the Davis Cup champions.
It will featuring 18 nations and be played over one week at a location in November – and it could be launched as early as 2019.
Investment group Kosmos have agreed a $3 billion 25-year partnership with the ITF to support the event, and substantial revenue will be generated for global tennis development.
“This is a complete game-changer for the ITF and for tennis,” said ITF President David Haggerty. “Our Board has supported a bold and ambitious plan for the future of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, one of the sport’s most cherished and important events and a key cornerstone in our ITF 2024 strategy.
“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.”
The radical overhaul will mean an end to the traditional home and away ties that have become synonymous with the competition. The sights, sounds and colours of a vociferous home crowd will be no more, but the new format may appeal to the sport’s leading names.
Many of the top players have bemoaned the positioning of the annual knockout tournament on the calendar – often after Grand Slams – and have shunned the opportunity to adorn the shirt of their nation.
A condensed event, held at the end of a long season, might be a more attractive proposition to those who have pushed for significant change.