By Ros Satar
- The list of reforms for the ITF AGM has been finalised
- All Davis Cup singles matches will be best-of-three tie-break sets, doubles still best-of-five and keeps three-day format
- Finalists in both Davis Cup & Fed Cup are guaranteed home tie
- Decision to have a neutral final in Geneva deferred
LONDON, UK – The ITF Board of Directors have finalised the list of reforms for Davis Cup and Fed Cup to be voted on by members at the 2017 AGM in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on 4 August.
It has been a long time coming with a lot of discussion but the reforms proposed for the ITF’s ‘World Cup of Tennis’ have been decided and will be voted on next month, with the changes due to come into effect in 2018.
The changes include:
- All singles matches in Davis Cup will be played as best-of-three tiebreak sets, rather than best-of-five sets. Davis Cup will retain its three-day format, with doubles still played on the Saturday over the best-of-five sets.
- The finalists in both Davis Cup and Fed Cup will be guaranteed the choice of hosting their first-round tie in the following year.
- The Davis Cup dead rubber policy will be amended to reduce the number of dead rubbers. If the fourth match is decisive, and lasts three sets or at least 90 minutes, the fifth match will not be played. A match tiebreak will replace the third set in all Davis Cup dead rubbers.
- Hosting costs for national associations will be reduced. This includes the reduction of match court availability by one day.
- Player onsite commitments will be reduced.
Geneva or Bust
In June Geneva was announced as the preferred bid for the World Cup of Tennis finals, but this was largely to the dismay of fans and players alike.
The ITF stated they had continued to listen to feedback, and has decided to defer bringing this particular motion to the ITF AGM vote until 2018.
‘World Cup of Tennis’ Task Force
A new task force will now work on finalising the new format changes. Board members Katrina Adams and Bernard Giudicelli are the co-chairs, with further appointments including external experts will be announced
The World Cup of Tennis Finals will form the basis of a wider set of discussions in terms of dates, formats and tennis calendars from 2019, including the commitment to expand the Fed Cup World Group from eight to 16 teams.
ITF President David Haggerty said: “We promised change and are already delivering change with a significant series of reforms. Taking another year to build consensus around the World Cup of Tennis Finals will allow us to finalise an even stronger recommendation to the AGM. This decision shows that we do not act unilaterally, and are working with all our stakeholders to find the best solution for tennis.
“The World Cup of Tennis finals will unlock considerable new revenue for investing back into the sport through the ITF’s member nations. Investment in the development of the next generation remains the priority of the ITF and its national associations.”
The Davis Cup World Group semi-finals take place in September, with the finals for both the Davis Cup and Fed Cup taking place in November.
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