THE Davis Cup is set to be transformed into an 18-nation World Cup-style tournament under new proposals put forward by the International Tennis Federation.
It is hoped the new event, named the World Cup of Tennis Finals, would feature the game’s leading international stars and be played in one location over seven days at the end of each season.
It would involve a round-robin stage with the top eight teams moving forward to knockout rounds.
The proposal has been unanimously endorsed by the ITF board of directors and will be submitted for approval at the annual general meeting in Orlando in August.
The ITF has announced a 25-year partnership, worth $3.8 billion with investment group Kosmos to fund the tournament.
The federation says “several world-class cities” have already expressed interest in hosting the event.
“This is a complete game-changer for the ITF and for tennis,” ITF president David Haggerty said.
“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.”
Matches would consist of two singles rubbers and one doubles, over best-of-three sets.
The event will also feature a play-off round which will allow eight nations to qualify for the following year’s finals, while the current zone group competition will continue underneath that.
“Kosmos is thrilled to join in this exciting partnership with the ITF,” Barcelona and Spain footballer Gerard Pique, the founder and president of Kosmos, said.
“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.”