Davis Cup overhauled for 2019 with season-ending team event

Davis Cup to become World Cup-style event after vote passed at ITF AGM

Added Aussie tennis legend John Newcombe: "Unfortunately their plan is a recipe for the death of the Davis Cup as we know it".

From next year the 18 countries will be divided into six groups with each qualifying round consisting of three matches - two singles and one doubles - of best-of-three sets.

"This new event will become a real festival of tennis and entertainment that will be more attractive to players, fans, sponsors and television networks", said David Haggerty, president of the ITF.

"You can ask anyone for the past 50 years who has played the Davis Cup and they will tell you this proposal is not what it is about, nor what it should be about".

Tennis Australia is one of several federations, including Germany's, who voted against the move.

The 210 member nations - whose votes are weighted in an electoral college system - delivered a 71.43 per cent majority in favour of the controversial proposals of the Kosmos investment group.

If they are approved, from 2019 the Davis Cup will begin with one traditional home-and-away round in February before an 18-team event staged over one week at the end of November decides the winners of the competition.

The new event will feature matches played over the best-of-three sets, culminating in a week-long tournament to determine the world champions.

The winners, along with the next two teams with the best records, will advance to the single-elimination quarter-finals.

The format will now centre on an 18-team World Cup of Tennis Finals, the first edition of which will be held in Madrid or Lille in November 2019.

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The new look Davis Cup has the backing of a three billion USA dollar commitment over 25 years from investment group Kosmos. "This result is a very bitter pill to swallow", said Ulrich Klaus, the president of the German Tennis Federation.

The organization said the new format will "project Davis Cup into the 21st century" and elevate the competition to "the heights it deserves".

The Davis Cup is played in February, July, September and November at home and away venues around the globe, the best-of-five match ties following Grand Slam events until the final round.

"Everyone agrees that change has to be done, but there are some people who think it needs other changes and that is something I can understand".

Pique spoke to the assembly and tried to unify as well, saying, "To the ones that voted against we'll try to prove that we can deliver the greatest Davis Cup competition ever".

In Mason, Ohio, Novak Djokovic's quest for his first Western & Southern Open title ran into a different obstacle Thursday night, with batches of rain forcing his match against defending champion Grigor Dimitrov to be suspended overnight.

What is the current format and how will it change?

Keys had lost five straight matches against No. 4 Kerber, but turned to her forehand to rally for a 2-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-4 victory.

"The challenge around that is whether or not the commercial partner will still be there to be engaged in that process and I think that's the biggest risk if the vote doesn't go through, will the commercial partners they've brought on board consider a different format? That's going to be a new experience for me".

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