‘This is an evolution’ – ITF reveal additional changes to be made to 2022 Davis Cup
Further changes will be made to the Davis Cup as next year’s tournament will be held across more host cities and will feature fewer teams.
In 2018, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) agreed a deal worth $3 billion (£2.25 billion pounds) with Kosmos Tennis, an organisation fronted by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.
The deal has already seen a number of revisions made to both the venues and the format of the tournament widely recognised as ‘the tennis World Cup.’
In 2019, it was announced that 18 teams would compete at the tournament and there would be no more home and away ties with the tournament being held over three host cities instead. This year’s competition was held in Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck.
There have also been proposals to move the tournament to Abu Dhabi, although this idea has been met by a mixed reception from players and captains alike, both past and present.
Encouraged by the success of the three host city format of this year’s Davis Cup, the 2022 tournament will be held over five host cities and will include two less teams, reducing the total number of teams from 18 to 16.
The 16 teams will compete across four group stages, with eight teams progressing to the knockout rounds which will be held in a neutral fifth city.
ITF president David Haggerty told Reuters that “for the group stages we envision all four of those being teams that are competing in the competition.”
Speaking with BBC Sport, Haggerty also felt “going to four cities for the group stage makes a tremendous amount of sense.
“It’s going to have that loud passionate audience that we want, that home and away feeling, and I think that’s going to be great.
“I think we want to make sure that wherever we go for the Finals that we have a big base of travelling fans, and I think that’s one of the things that we will be able to do: to make sure that we have subsidies and ways that we can make it easier for those fans to travel, wherever the final location is.”
The decision for the host cities is expected to be made in March, but the neutral city to hold the knockout rounds should be announced in the next few weeks.
Haggerty is enthusiastic for next year’s tournament, saying “this is an evolution and I think next year just takes us one more step into kind of the World Cup of tennis. We’re really, really excited.”
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