The only tournament, besides the Olympics, that let’s players play for their country rather than themselves is becoming a whole new one. The ITF has voted in favor of the new Davis Cup format. The new format was created and promoted by investment group Kosmos and will be the new face of international tennis for the next 25 years. Starting in 2019, the Davis Cup will be played as a season-end event in November and will include 18 nations. Here is everything you need to know:
Qualifying Rounds (February 2019):
12 teams that placed 5th-16th in 2018 Davis Cup + 12 Group 1 winners. 6 from Europe/Africa, 3 from Asia/Oceania, 3 from the Americas.
Winners: Go straight to Davis Cup Finals in November
Losers: Relegated to Group 1
Finals Round (November 2019):
4 semifinalists from 2018 Davis Cup (Spain, France, United States, Croatia), 12 qualified teams from February, 2 wild cards.
Date: November 18-24, 2019
Location: Madrid or Lille
Match Play: All matches will be best of 3 sets. Teams will play 2 singles and 1 doubles match.
Format: Round-Robin with 6 groups with 3 teams per group, will be played Monday-Thursday. Group winners and two best second place teams qualify for quarter finals. Group standings will be organized by, Wins, Sets won, Games won.
Quarter finals, all played on Friday.
Semi finals, all played on Saturday.
Final, played on Sunday. New champion crowned!
The new format has been a very controversial one among former and current players. Some players, like Lucas Pouille and Lleyton Hewitt, have voiced their anger through social-media and interviews alike. Meanwhile, players like Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic seem to support the new Davis Cup.
Hopefully, for tennis fans worldwide, the new Davis Cup attracts the top tennis players of the world. This would create a team event with top level tennis, something the Tour has certainly been missing.
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