The Davis Cup which, after over 110 years of being a season-long event, was revamped with the Finals being contested in Madrid by 18 tennis nations – the semi-finalists from the previous year, 12 qualifiers and two wildcards – playing a round robin with the top four entering the knockout stage. All three ties are now condensed into two singles and a doubles, all played over three sets.
We are committed to a long-term vision for this historic competition and are confident these adjustments will enhance the experience for players and fans Albert Costa
That year was won by Spain with Rafa Nadal leading the charge against Canada, Unfortunately the event was cancelled in 2020 thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.
It seems many lessons were learnt that year by the organisers, the ITF and Kosmos Tennis, which they have now incorporated into the 2021 edition by expanding the number of days the event to 11 days and are considering — following the ATP Cup’s success — playing it in three host cities.
This year’s event will take place between November 25 and December 5 with 16 nations participating rather than 18 as in 2019.
Davis Cup Finals tournament director Albert Costa said: “We recognise that the most successful tournaments adapt and evolve over time, and while the inaugural Davis Cup Finals delivered fantastic tennis, it also provided some learnings. We are committed to a long-term vision for this historic competition and are confident these adjustments will enhance the experience for players and fans.
“With large stadiums providing show courts for all ties, the introduction of a multi-city event will bring the competition to the widest possible audience, while we will also be able to ease the burden on players with improvements to the scheduling. Crucially, a revised schedule will allow us to avoid late finishes while providing more rest for players.”
Madrid has an agreement to host this year’s Final but the ITF Board has confirmed that it will now be discussing the prospect of expanding the hosting to a three city format as suggested by their partners Kosmos, who have promised to invest £2.2 billion into the sport over 25 years.
The proposals for the expansion of the finals are aimed should improve the scheduling for players while enhancing the fan experience and taking the Davis Cup to a wider audience. The multi-city format would see two European cities join Madrid as hosts this year.
A final decision will be made in March after the ITF has considered the bidding cities applications which will have include contingency plans for possible coronavirus restriction.