ITF proposes changing Davis Cup to three-set format
The Davis Cup, the men’s national teams tennis competition, looks set to adopt best-of-three-set matches in place of the current five-set model.
The International Tennis Federation unveiled the proposed changes at a board of directors meeting yesterday held at the Indian Wells tournament in California.
It is thought that new format would enable ties to take place over two days, as opposed to three at present, and reduce the strain on the participating players.
The ITF has said it will discuss the proposal with all stakeholders before it is put to a vote at the ITF annual general meeting in August.
Top men's tennis players have been calling for changes to the Davis Cup to reduce their workload in an increasingly congested season.
ITF president David Haggerty, who was elected last year, has made a revamp of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, the women's national teams competition a priority, in particular making them more relevant in order to bring in an extra $20 million of sponsorship revenue by 2020.
Last year, it was revealed that the Davis Cup finals would begin to be hosted at neutral venues in future.
In September, the ITF tasked CSM Sport & Entertainment, the UK-based sports marketing agency, with finding potential host cities for the two finals.
The winning city is expected to stage two or three successive finals in order to provide some stability for sponsors. While the ITF has ruled out staging both the Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals in the same city on the same weekend, the federation would be open to the same city hosting both finals on consecutive weekends, it is understood.
At present, one of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup finalists, based on the draw, hosts the final, but that is not decided until a few months beforehand.
Changes to the process for the finals will also be voted on at August's annual general meeting, meaning a neutral host is likely to come in for 2018, although it could be fast-tracked to this year.