After Losing Key Vote, The ITF Seizes Extra Power From Their Own Board

ITF president David Haggerty

Moments after it was confirmed that the ITF has failed to get enough votes to reduce the length of men’s Davis Cup matches, another rule was passed that has baffled many.

On Friday, the governing body of tennis was left in disappointment after they failed to get the 66.66% of votes needed to pass their plans on implementing best-of-three set matches in the Davis Cup. The failure has been praised by critics, who has argued against reducing the length takes away the special feeling associated with the ties.

“Some of the most magnificent matches we have ever seen, some of the true epics, have been five-setters in Davis Cup,” former player John Newcombe told The Australian.

The celebrations by opponents of the plan might be short-lived. As the board collectively decided no, they have also given the ITF the green light for more power. The ITF will now be allowed to trial their ideas in both the Fed and Davis Cup without the approval of the board. Reigniting the possibility that the best-of-three sets could be used in the Davis Cup one day.

“The ITF Annual General Meeting today passed a landmark resolution giving the ITF Board of Directors the authority to make changes to Davis Cup and Fed Cup regulations on a trial basis without needing to seek approval from the general membership.” The ITF statement reads.
“The amendment received overwhelming support at the close of the 2017 ITF AGM in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, on 4 August.”

The approval is a sign of the board’s confidence in the ITF and their management. Although, it does appear to be a bit of a contradiction following their other vote. ITF president David Haggerty has hailed the historic move, stating that it helps the competition to develop in a ‘fast-changing world.’

“This is a ground-breaking decision. The resolution gives the board the latitude and flexibility of trialling changes to Davis Cup and Fed Cup without waiting for approval of the AGM. In a fast-changing world, we need to be agile and nimble to make decisions, and this resolution gives us that ability. We thank our members for their support in the ITF Board.” He said.

Besides the best-of-three debate, the ITF recently delayed the introduction of their ‘tennis world cup’. An idea to combine both the men’s and women’s final together. Earlier this year the governing body said it has been postponed in order to generate more support. Now they have the power to trial it regardless of what others say.

Change sparks criticism

In the wake of the latest development, some have already taken to social media to express their displeasure. Former doubles No.1 Todd Woodbridge has accused the organization of double standards.

“Sense prevailed but because the @ITF_Tennis couldn’t get 3v5 over the line they change the rules!” He wrote on social media.

World No.113 Sergiy Stakhovsky has also taken a swipe at the ITF on Twitter in a Tweet that was endorsed by Germany’s Dustin Brown.


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