The Davis Cup will see a major change in the way it’s conducted from 2019 and below we have outlined the new Davis Cup format that will be used to starting from 2019.
The ITF AGM was held on August 16 and it voted in favour of the ITF – the organisers of the Davis Cup – to combine with Kosmos, a company founded by football star Pique to change things around in the Davis Cup. The new competition will now be played as a week-long event at the end of the tennis season but there will be a few qualifiers played before that.
What’re the basics of the new Davis Cup format?
Earlier, the main rounds of Davis Cup were played over four weekends through the ATP tennis season, and 16 teams fought it out for the ultimate prize over those four rounds in the main draw of the tournament.
From 2019, there will be 18 countries in the main draw who will feature in this year-ending tournament played over a week at a neutral venue.
How will these 18 teams qualify for the Davis Cup finals in 2019?
In its first season, 24 teams will feature in a Qualifier in the first week of February, 2019. These 24 teams will play play a home-and-away round of tennis and 12 of these teams will qualify for the Davis Cup finals. These 12 teams will be joined by the four semi-finalists of the 2018 Davis Cup and two wild-cards, making it 18 teams.
What will be the Davis Cup finals format?
The 18 teams that qualify for the Davis Cup finals will be divided into six groups of three teams each. Each team will play against the two other teams in their group and at the end of this round-robin league stage, the top side from each group and the best two second-placed teams will qualify for the quarter-finals. The league stage will be played from Monday-Thursday that week while the quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final will be played on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Where will the first Davis Cup finals be played?
The first season of this new Davis Cup will be held in either Madrid or Lille from November 18-24, 2019. The exact venue will be announced in the coming weeks.
What happens from the 2020 Davis Cup onward?
The four semi-finalists from the 2019 Davis Cup get a direct entry into the Davis Cup finals while the teams ranked 5th to 16th will meet 12 other teams from Davis Cup Group I to feature in a home and away Qualifier in February 2020. 12 of these 24 teams will advance to the Davis Cup finals and two other teams will be handed over a wild-card.
Which 12 teams will join the teams ranked 5th to 16th in the previous Davis Cup finals to make it 24 teams in the Qualifying round?
These will be 12 Group I winners, including six from Europe, three from Asia/Oceania and three from the Americas. The losing teams in this Davis Cup Qualifying round that will be played in February, will be relegated back to the Group I and they will be joined by the promoted teams from Group II in a match-up that will be played in September. Matches in Groups II to IV will be held in February or September while the Group I matches will need to be held in September only.
Is there any other way I can understand these changes?
Yes, of course, you can watch this video that explains the new Davis Cup format with greater clarity.