Geneva Set To Host Both Fed And Davis Cup Finals In Historic Bid By The ITF
The ITF has selected Geneva in Switzerland as their preferred city to host the new World Cup of Tennis finals, a proposed event that would staged both Fed and Davis Cup finals.
The three-year deal would see the Swiss city host the event at the Palexpo, an arena with the capacity of 18,000 spectators. It means that for the first time in history, both the men’s and women’s team events will be combined into one.
Geneva was one out of six cities shortlisted to host the new event. Their nomination at an ITF meeting in Frankfurt on Tuesday beat off competition from Copenhagen (Denmark), Miami (USA), Istanbul (Turkey), Turin (Italy), and Wuhan (China). According to the ITF more than 20 cities ‘expressed interest’ in hosting the event.
David Haggerty, the president of the ITF, has hailed the historic development. Addressing the new format, he said that the move was done in a bid to increase revenue into the tournament and attract a wider audience. Haggerty has also assured that the venue of the finals will always be of a high standard with this system in place.
“The creation of the World Cup of Tennis finals is at the heart of a series of reforms that represent the most significant changes in the history of Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. Change is needed to ensure that we maximise the full potential of these iconic and historic competitions. We’ve consulted widely and listened carefully, and believe we will deliver an exceptional new event for fans, players and nations.” He said.
The event will not be formally approved until August when the ITF AGM meeting will see members vote on the issue in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Until then, the ITF week be seeking input from both the Fed and Davis Cup committees.
It is also possible that the Fed Cup world group will expand from eight to 16 teams. The new event could also include the Fed Cup semifinals as well, however, there is no indication that the Davis Cup will follow a similar pattern.
The duration of the tie is expected to be between five to nine days, according to The New York Times and will take place during the traditional week set out for the Davis Cup final. This would therefore result in an extension of the women’s calendar.
Davis Cup faces a future rival
It is understood that both the ATP and WTA have supported the move, but with caution. The ATP could have another men’s event within the next four years. Details are currently limited, but talks have already taken place about the creation of a Team World Cup.
The driving force behind the initiative is F.C. Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique. During this year’s Madrid Open, it was confirmed that he has conducted a series of discussions with players about the creation of a new team event in what would be a mini world cup version of the sport. One player backing the idea is Spain’s Rafael Nadal.
“I think it would be great. It would be very interesting to be able to compete for our country. I know that the format will be a 10-day tournament in the same spot. I think that it will be a really good initiative. Hopefully it will take place.” Nadal said in favour of the idea.
If the new event were to happen during the off-season, pressure would be applied to the Davis Cup and how they would cope against a new rival. Although ITF boss Haggerty is dismissing the threat of a new tournament.
Further player discussions about the new event, which could start in 2019, will occur during the Wimbledon championships.