By Ros Satar

  • Reform package proposals for Davis Cup & Fed Cup were voted on at the ITF AGM
  • Hosting costs and finalists guaranteed home first round tie approved
  • Pre-tie commitments reduced, and official dinner is now lunch
  • AGM did not approve best-of-three tie-break sets to replace best-of-five
HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM – The ITF AGM voted on the proposed reforms for Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, but it did not go all to plan.

 

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What were the proposals?

The key proposals included:

  • Reducing costs for host nations by lowering match court availability and practice court requirements
  • In the Davis Cup, reducing the pre-tie commitments to a single function of the draw, post-draw press conferences and interviews, and an official lunch to replace the team dinner
  • Finalists in both Davis Cup and Fed Cup will be guaranteed the choice of hosting their first-round tie in the following year
  • In Davis Cup, best-of-five sets to be replaced with best-of-three tie-break sets.

ALSO READ: Davis Cup & Fed Cup Reforms finalised for ITF vote in August

 

How did that go?

The AGM approved the first three above, but the biggest potential game changer to help secure the commitment of the top players for the more gruelling Davis Cup weekend was thwarted. The decision to keep the best-of-five format received 63.54% support from the member nations – the proposal required a two-thirds majority and just fell short.

 

‘Disappointed’

ITF President David Haggerty said: “We respect the decision of the AGM but are disappointed that our member nations have not approved the full package of Davis Cup and Fed Cup reforms endorsed by the ITF Board. Change is needed to ensure the long-term future of these iconic and historic competitions, and we remain committed to working with our national associations and other stakeholders on finding ways to enhance Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas.”

Over the past few months there has been plenty of discussion about the proposals to the Davis Cup and Fed Cup format. Fans, players and pundits were alarmed at the proposal of a neutral venue for the finals which would take away that unique atmosphere that has always been associated with the formats. That decision has been delayed a year, but after this reaction, it may be that there is a lot more work to do to keep Davis Cup and Fed Cup at the forefront of players’ minds at the highest level.

Main Image:  CHRISTOPHE SAIDI/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

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