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Davis Cup undergoes format change as ITF shells out World Cup of Tennis

Gaurav Kadam
890   //    26 Feb 2018, 22:41 IST

France Davis Cup
France is the last winner of the traditional Davis Cup tournament

What is the story?

International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced a major shake-up of the traditional Davis Cup format rolling out an 18-nation World Cup of Tennis Finals to be held at the end of the regular season.

In case you didn't know...

Davis Cup was founded in 1900 as a competition between the United States and Great Britain by American tennis player Dwight F. Davis. The annual tournament saw 16 of the best countries compete in the World Group for the Cup. The nations not competing in the World Cup would play in three regional zones - Americas, Asia/Oceania, and Europe/Africa. The teams compete in a best-of-five series with four singles matches and one doubles match.

The United States is the most successful nation in the Davis Cup with 32 wins to date with the last one being back in 2007.

The heart of the matter

Davis Cup, the annual international tennis tournament for men, has undergone major format overhaul as the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has proposed an 18-nation World Cup of Tennis Finals to be held in November every year.

The traditional Davis Cup format established since 1987 saw the 16 teams compete in a knockout structure spread over four weekends of the year in February, July, and September with the finals being played in November.

The ITF announced a 25-year, $3 billion dollar partnership with investment firm Kosmos, which is founded by FC Barcelona's Gerard Pique, who serves as the President of Kosmos too. ITF President David Haggerty insisted that this World Cup of Tennis Finals will certainly be a game-changer in the world of tennis and also announced a prize pool of $20 million for the qualifying nations.

The World Cup of Tennis Finals will see the teams from World Group directly qualify with the other two countries to be selected.

What's next?

The World Cup of Tennis Finals' venue will be decided after analyzing the bids by interested cities at the ITF Annual General Meeting to be held in August in Orlando, Florida.

Author's take

The Davis Cup will definitely be elevated as a result of the format change providing a spectacle at the end of the regular tennis season and could see top players from the countries featuring as well.

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