Plans in place to bring tennis' World Team Cup back by 2019
The World Team Cup, a top men’s tennis event, could return to the sport's calendar as early as January 2019, seven years after it was scrapped, according to reports.
The proposed tournament would offer high prize money and ranking points, feature a maximum 24 nations of up to five players per team and be held over 10 days, according to Reuters.
Talks were held between the men's ATP Tour and the International Tennis Federation, the sport's governing body, in New York over the final few days of the US Open, which ended yesterday.
It is reported that the competition could be held in multiple cities, most likely in Australia and the Asia-Pacific region, forming an integral part of the build-up to the Australian Open, which begins in mid-January.
Tennis Australia, which backs the World Team Cup, said in a statement: “The protection and growth of the Australian Open and Australian Open Series is always a major priority for us. We also have an ongoing determination to improve the pay and conditions of the international playing group. We will always listen to any proposal that meets both of those objectives.”
The original World Team Cup began in 1975 and was held in Düsseldorf, Germany from 1978 to 2012 but did not offer ranking points and suffered from being on the calendar just a week before the French Open.
In a statement, the ATP said: "In recent years, the ATP has regularly reviewed any potential opportunities to bring this event back into the calendar, should it make sense in the schedule, and this continues to be the case."
The proposed return of the Team Cup comes as the ITF attempts to reinvigorate its Davis Cup and Fed Cup, the men’s and women's national teams tennis competitions, respectively.
The ITF wanted to reduce Davis Cup ties from best-of-five sets to best-of-three to ease the strain on players and encourage the biggest names to play. The proposals were rejected by its members in August, but the ITF is still considering a number of changes, including playing the semi-finals and final at a neutral venue, though a vote on this has been deferred until at least 2018.