Now Pique's Kosmos proposes Majesty Cup to fill Davis Cup gap
Kosmos, the investment group founded by Spanish soccer star Gerard Pique (pictured), and with significant financial backing from Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and chief executive of Rakuten, the Japanese e-commerce company, is reported to be behind a second proposal to overhaul the annual tennis calendar with a new men's event tentatively named the Majesty Cup.
The tournament, to be played annually in the week after the US Open, would involve 64 players competing for a winner-takes-all purse of $10 million, about $2 million more than the purse for a top-tier ATP Masters 1000 event, according to the UK's Daily Telegraph newspaper.
Kosmos is already backing, to the tune of $3 billion over 25 years, a major overhaul of the annual Davis Cup, the national teams competition which is to be scrapped in favour of an annual season-ending World Cup of Tennis Finals, beginning in November 2019, which will feature 18 nations and be played over one week in one city.
Under the plans approved by the International Tennis Federation last month, 24 teams will compete in home and away ties in February, with 12 winning teams advancing to the finals. The four semi-finalists from the previous year's tournament, plus two wildcards, would complete the 18 teams.
Lille, France and Madrid, Spain are being considered to host the inaugural Finals in 2019.
The Majesty Cup aims to fill part of the gap in the calendar created by the Davis Cup overhaul.
Lille was today named as the venue for the 2018 Davis Cup Final between France and Croatia. The contest will take place at the Stade Pierre Mauroy from 23 to 25 November.
It will be the third time in five years that the city has staged the event, with France having lost to Switzerland there in 2014, but defeated Belgium in 2017.