Davis Cup overhauled for 2019 with season-ending team event

The Davis Cup is an 118-year-old competition

The Davis Cup is an 118-year-old competition

Controversial proposals to revamp the Davis Cup and turn it into a season-ending 18-team event have been backed by national tennis federations.

The makeover to one of sport's most famous and oldest global team tournaments has been a contentious issue within tennis but the ITF's plans received the necessary two-thirds majority from its 210 member nations.

The ITF outlined the changes in conjunction with Kosmos, a company founded and chaired by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, who will spend $3 billion (£2.35bn) over 25 years on the new event. The overhaul of the 118-year-old competition was approved despite the Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body of British tennis, opposing the changes.

The changes were criticized by numerous tennis players and journalists who insisted that the tournament would be destroyed by the reforms.

The world's best 16 nations were drawn in the World Group, competing in straight knockout games; while the rest of the teams were divided into several groups in accordance with their location and rankings.

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The Davis Cup is played in February, April, September and November at home and away venues.

"We are very pleased the ITF member nations voted to approve the Davis Cup proposal", the USTA said in a statement.

The reformed event would see matches played over the best of three sets, culminating in a World Cup-style tournament to determine the world champions.

The new format will involve a qualifying round in February, in which 24 teams will take part in home and away matches. The top teams from each group and the two highest-scoring runners-up will play the quarter-finals on the Friday, with the semi-finals on Saturday and the final held on Sunday.

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