The Davis Cup is in line for the biggest shake-up in the 118-year history of the event the International Tennis Federation announced on Monday.
In what would be a radical change, the ITF plan to switch to an 18-team football World Cup-type format with the competition taking place in one location every November and they want the new format to be in place as early as next year.
The Davis Cup has been in decline for many years now with more and more top players not playing for their countries and the calls for change increasing with every passing year.
In the current format, 16 nations compete in a knock-out competition that starts in February and finishes with the final in November. Each tie is the best of five matches which comprise of four singles and one doubles all played over five sets.
The new proposal would see the event run on a round-robin basis before a knockout phase with two singles and one doubles rubber - with three matches played over the best-of-three-sets.
Sixteen World Group countries will get automatic entry to the Finals with a further two to be selected.
In a statement detailing a 25-year, $3bn partnership with investment group Kosmos, ITF president Davis Haggerty said it would be a game-changer for the competition.
“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 is a complete game-changer for the ITF and tennis,” Haggerty said, per The Independent.
“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.”
Barcelona and Spain football superstar Gerard Pique is the founder and president of Kosmos and has been a major player in the push for change to the Davis Cup.
The involvement from Kosmos will see increases in prize money for the players along with the member nations of the ITF and see significant funding for grassroots projects.
The plans will submitted to the ITF Annual General Meeting to take place in August in Orlando, Florida and a two-thirds majority will be required to confirm approval.News Now - Sport News