Well, it could well be the end of an 118-year-old tradition. The Davis Cup, as we know it, might not going to remain in existent. Instead a new format of Davis Cup could be used from 2019 where all teams feature over a period of one week towards the end of the season and that hasn’t made a lot of ex-players happy.
For now, the Davis Cup is played throughout the tennis season with different rounds of matches played in different months before the final between the top two teams that’s held towards the end of the season. Now, there’s a proposal from the ITF federation chief David Haggerty to rattle the things a tad.
Or, as some might say, more than just a tad.
The proposal is to convert the Davis Cup into an 18-team event like a World Cup, played at a neutral venue where participants are not just a part of their country’s team but also get individual ranking points, and effectively changing this event into a year-end Grand Slam.
And one of the reasons behind this change is the backing from the Kosmos investment group, who are ready to fund $3 billion towards this competition. The group promoter is Barcelona football star Gerard Pique and is partnered by Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani.
According to Haggerty, the change in the format will also bring about a change in the profile of the competition which should help “develop the future generation of players.”
Of course, this needs to be approved by 2/3rd of ITF committee, and not everyone is on board. Apart from a few of the ex-tennis players like Rod Laver and John Newcombe, Tennis Australia is also not very pleased by this development.
And one of the reasons behind that might be their call to bring in a revamped World Team Cup Australia in the first week of 2020. This can be expected to replace the Hopman Cup but with Davis Cup now expected to be played as the season-ending tournament, the alleged fear is it might cannibalise into Tennis Australia’s plans.
The decision will soon be made.