Tennis: Davis Cup set for radical World Cup style reform

The Davis Cup, a tournament that defines the world’s best tennis nation, is set for a radical shake-up. The 118-year-old men’s tournament will have a World Cup-style finals for the first time in 2019.

The somewhat controversial measures proposed by International Tennis Federation (ITF) president David Haggerty received a vote of 71.4 per cent at the federation’s conference in Orlando, Florida,
on Thursday – above the necessary two-thirds majority.

Several national federations were opposed to the change to the longstanding event, including Germany’s tennis federation which voted against.

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The investment company Kosmos, founded by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, has promised $3 billion (€2.6 billion) to the ITF for 25 years, is behind the plans, which will see 18 nations play a week-long World Cup style finals in November at a neutral venue.

The competition will begin with 24 teams playing home-or-away matches in February, with the 12 winners moving to the finals.

The four semifinalists from the year before and two wild-card teams would join them in the 18-team year-end event.