Streamlined Davis Cup revamp approved despite LTA opposition

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

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

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

The 118-year-old event is one of the world's largest worldwide team competitions, with 132 nations taking part in the tournament in 2018.

The overhaul of the 118-year-old competition was rubber-stamped despite the Lawn Tennis Association, the governing body of British tennis, announcing on Wednesday that it opposed the changes.

The reforms were initiated by the ITF with the support of investment group Kosmos, which is owned by Barcelona star Gerard Pique, who will invest $3 billion into the tournament over 25 years.

The current edition will be the last one to be played in the traditional format of direct eliminations in the city chosen by the local team.

The world's best 16 nations were drawn in the World Group, competing in straight knockout games; while the rest of the teams were divided into several groups in accordance with their location and rankings.

The Davis Cup is now played in February, April, September and November at home and away venues. The top team event in men's tennis is often skipped by elite players already facing a crowded schedule.

Commenting on the matter, ITF President David Haggerty said: "I am delighted that the nations have today voted to secure the long-term status of Davis Cup by BNP Paribas".

The changes would condense the year-long tournament into a two-week event and could see fewer players taking part.

The two worst qualified teams from the round robin stage will be relegated to the zone groups the following year and the remaining nations that did not qualify for the semi-finals will have to participate in February's qualifying round the following season.