Davis Cup tennis receives an overhaul

Davis Cup to become World Cup-style event after vote passed at ITF AGM

Davis Cup tennis receives an overhaul

A common criticism against this new format, one that hopes to attract elite players who commonly skip Davis Cup matches because of a grueling almost 12-month schedule, is that it still won't entice the world's very-best to play because of how much tennis will need to be played in such a condensed amount of time in order to finish the event - one that takes place near the end of the year.

The Davis Cup is getting a radical makeover the International Tennis Federation [ITF] hopes will revive the 118-year-old event, however there is plenty of opposition to the changes from current and former players.

The gripe that Auger-Aliassime seems to have with the new Davis Cup final format stems from the fact the event will now take place at a pre-determined neutral site, like the FIFA World Cup, instead of the traditional home-and-away format that will guarantee that at least one of the competing nations will get a chance to play in front of their home fans.

The new event will feature matches played over the best-of-three sets, culminating in a week-long tournament to determine the world champions.

"We are very pleased the ITF member nations voted to approve the Davis Cup proposal", the USTA said in a statement.

Added Aussie tennis legend John Newcombe: "Unfortunately their plan is a recipe for the death of the Davis Cup as we know it".

The U.S. Tennis Association was among the national federations that backed the changes.

Pique spoke to the assembly and tried to unify as well, saying, "To the ones that voted against we'll try to prove that we can deliver the greatest Davis Cup competition ever". "You can ask anyone for the past 50 years who has played the Davis Cup and they will tell you this proposal is not what it is about, nor what it should be about".

The competition will begin with 24 teams playing home-or-away matches in February, with the 12 winners moving to the finals.

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With 71.43 percent of the votes, the motion was passed, promising to revitalise the most important team competition in world tennis, despite always being at the centre of the debate due to its format.

The new format involves 18 teams - that includes two wild cards - shuffled into six groups of three, where the victor and top two runners-up would proceed to a knockout stage started from the quarterfinals.

"The home and away fixture and the five-set battles are also part of what makes Davis Cup unique in tennis and sets it apart from the regular tour", he said.

"I think Davis Cup has untapped potential", Pique said. "At the end of the day, the whole thing is great".

It would be staged just six weeks after the Davis Cup event, scheduling that ATP executive chairman Chris Kermode described as "insane".

Pique, who traveled to Orlando, Florida on Wednesday to make a final personal appearance, managed to convince the ITF despite reluctance from the Australian, United Kingdom and German federations.

"I didn't sleep for the last 24 hours. because I was preparing the speech when I was on the plane", he said.

"It's exciting times", Haggerty said.

However, many will remain unconvinced.

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