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Davis Cup reform: Nations vote for 18-team season-ending event

Davis Cup reform: Nations vote for 18-team season-ending event

Controversial proposals to revamp the Davis Cup and turn it into a season-ending 18-team event have been backed by national tennis federations.A two-thirds majority among the 140 nations was needed for the plans to be approved at the International Tennis Federation’s annual general meeting.The ITF has outlined a 25-year, $3bn (£2.15bn) plan with an investment…

Controversial proposals to revamp the Davis Cup and turn it into a season-ending 18-team event have been backed by national tennis federations.

A two-thirds majority among the 140 nations was needed for the plans to be approved at the International Tennis Federation’s annual general meeting.

The ITF has outlined a 25-year, $3bn (£2.15bn) plan with an investment group founded by footballer Gerard Pique.

The Lawn Tennis Association, Britain’s governing body, opposed the proposals.

Britain won the Davis Cup in 2015 for the first time since 1936.

What is the current format and how will it change?

The Davis Cup, founded in 1900, is one of the world’s largest international team competitions with 132 nations taking part in 2018.

Sixteen nations compete in the World Group in a straight knockout, while the remaining countries are divided into three regional zones depending on their location.

It is played in February, April and September and November at home and away venues, with each World Group tie played over three days in a best-of-five tie of five-set matches.

However, an increasing number of top players have skipped matches in recent years to ease their schedule.

The reformed event would see matches played over the best of three sets, culminating in a World Cup-style tournament to determine the world champions.

Twenty-four teams would compete in home and away ties in February, with 12 winning teams advancing to the finals in November.

The four semi-finalists from the previous year’s tournament, plus two wildcards, would complete the 18 teams.

The finals – to be staged in a European city – would be a round-robin format before a knockout phase, with matches consisting of two singles and one doubles rubber.

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