The famed Davis Cup has run its course as the 118 year old tournament is set to undergo a major overhaul this year, with the tournament being transformed into this World Cup of nations(18 as of now), to be played at the end of the season.
The tournament has been named ‘World Cup of Tennis Finals’ and it will be held in a league cum knockout format. The 18 teams will first feature in a group round-robin, followed by the quarter finals between the top 8 teams.
This drastic shift has been proposed to give some more context to ‘countries playing countries’, something that the authorities felt was getting stale in the Davis Cup format.
The initial group stage will still be called the Davis Cup, and will be played over a single week in a neutral venue, taking away the fun of the home and away ties.
As far as the groups are concerned, there will be 3 groups of 6 each, out of which 8 teams will qualify for the grand ‘World Cup of Tennis finals’ at the end of the year.
The move has already been backed by Kosmos as it has announced a 25 year partnership with ITF, a deal that is worth $3bn. A lot of the world’s best cities have already expressed interest in hosting the inaugural event.
“This is a complete gamechanger 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.” the ITF President said.
The tournament though is yet to be green-lit and will be presented at the annual general meeting in Orlando, Florida, in August.
Two Singles rubbers followed by a doubles rubber, all three of which will be best of 3 sets.
There will also be a play-off round, giving the chance to eight nations to qualify for the tournament for the next season.
Kosmos, the funding group has been founded by Spanish footballer, Gerard Pique, who is super excited about the event.
Kosmos is thrilled to join in this exciting partnership with the ITF. Together we can elevate Davis Cup to new heights by putting on a must-see World Cup of Tennis Finals featuring the top nations and top players.”
Players who used to play the Davis Cup regularly have not taken to the changes very well!
“There’s still a long way to go as it requires a two-thirds majority approval at the ITF annual general meeting in August, but we’re still passionate about Davis Cup and I, like everyone else, realise that changes need to be made to ensure longevity and status of the competition.
“Of course one of the first things that came to mind is the loss of the home and away tie. It works in other sports but remains to be seen if it could work in Davis Cup. However, I do think it’s really positive the ITF are looking at significant investment from other sources to secure the future of the competition. For now we’ll just have to keep an open mind as we start to learn more about this proposed new structure and whatever the outcome, I hope the Davis Cup remains the most important team event in world tennis.” the British Davis Cup captain, Leon Smith said.
“is un-f**king-believable, and you can keep the expletive in” said Pat Cash.