The ITF has proposed some reforms in the operations of Davis Cup and Fed Cup which states to combining the finals of the respective cup into one.
The idea has already gained some disputable limelight and players from around the world are expressing their frustrations towards it. Speaking of the reforms the ITF head states, “The finals are the centrepiece of a series of historic reforms that will transform Davis Cup and Fed Cup, the largest annual team competitions in sport”
In addition to the combination of the finals, ITF is also reportedly proposing mixed semi-finals of the events. This comes after ITF’s citation of a low number of teams in the Fed Cup and a possibility of matching the numbers with the Davis Cup i.e. 16 teams.
As of now, these reforms are just at the proposal stage. The reforms will first need to pass via the jurisdiction of ITF AGM governing body, which very unlikely to approve the reforms.
The changes in the original rules would possibly mean an extension to the women’s season by almost 2 weeks as Davis Cup starts 2 weeks later than the Fed Cup.AS far as men’s tournament is concerned, ITF states that the reforms are aimed to implement change on the finals and semi-finals only whilst keeping the group stages similar as before.
ITF has already decided on Geneva to host the World Cup at Palexpo, a hard court stadium with 18000 seat capacity. It was chosen as the winner from a shortlist of 6 venues that included Copenhagen, Istanbul, Miami, Turin and Wuhan.
ITF reiterates the positives of this reforms in getting some popular faces to play the tournament. Both the Davis and Fed Cup aren’t much popular due to notable absentees of the popular faces. ITF says that with extra prize money and increased player incentives, it would be able to lure some famous faces into playing the tournament.
“The creation of the World Cup of Tennis finals is at the heart of a series of reforms that represent the most significant changes in the history of Davis Cup and Fed Cup. Change is needed to ensure that we maximise the full potential of these iconic and historic competitions. By providing Geneva a full one year for the preparations, it will ensure a top-notch tournament with World Class preparation facilities.” said Haggerty
Though very unlikely to be approved, if in case it gets approved, it will be facing some tough competition from the ATP’s idea of a private World Cup backed by Gerard Pique.
The hearing for the proposed reforms is scheduled in August 2017 with the tournament starting next November with the reforms in action.