Davis Cup set for format shake-up

Davis Cup

Davis Cup

British tennis chiefs said Wednesday they will vote against the controversial reforms planned for the Davis Cup, claiming the radical changes could see fewer players taking part and a warning of fan interest. "Having more resources to put behind the development of tennis is the most important thing for an global federation".

"The money that we make will be put back to the nations for their development programs and the future of tennis", Haggerty said.

"There are a lot of people, a lot of current and former players, who are frustrated by it and see this as a money grab", Aussie Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt said. The LTA remains fully supportive of the ITF and its leadership and will work together on the future of Davis Cup regardless of the outcome of tomorrow's vote.

The LTA came out against the reforms Wednesday ahead of ITF delegate discussion on the plan.

ITF President David Haggerty, seen at a meeting in Kuwait, in June 2018.

Also to comfort the nations about the unusually long contract, a yearly review would be conducted taking into account certain key performance indicators, such as participation of top players and spectator turnout.

Therefore, in the past years, there were debates going on for the possible format changes in the event as "the Davis Cup is too important for the sport to become just another event in the calendar with no real meaning", as stated by John Newcombe.

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"We've provided written details to members, travelled extensively to meet with regional and national associations, and hosted town hall events at Roland Garros and Wimbledon to provide detail and hear feedback, much of which has been incorporated into the final proposal, such as the 24-team qualifier round to be held each February", he said.

An 18-team Finals, featuring 12 qualifiers, the previous year's four semifinalists and two wild card nations, will consist of six round-robin groups of three teams followed by quarterfinals, semifinals and the final itself.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has today informed the International Tennis Federation (ITF) that, regrettably, it is unable to support their proposed Davis Cup reforms at this time, and will oppose the resolution at the ITF AGM tomorrow.

But Alex De Minaur, a 19-year-old Australian, recalled a fifth-set Davis Cup tie-breaker loss before cheering home fans to third-ranked Alexander Zverev as "the best four hours I've ever spent on the court".

He doesn't want a format change that might deny him such a thrill.

One complication however could well be the introduction of a revamped World Team Cup due to take place in Australia in the first week of 2020. "It's just the scheduling of this kind of format so far has been pretty bad".

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