LONDON – The Davis Cup and Fed Cup are planning to combine forces into a World Cup of Tennis.
Starting in 2018, the finals of the men’s and women’s national team tournaments will be brought together under one roof in an effort to raise the profile of the competitions. For the first three years, the event will be held in Geneva, the International Tennis Federation said Wednesday.
“Change is needed to ensure that we maximize the full potential of these iconic and historic competitions,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement.
The changes still need to be approved at the federation’s annual general meeting in August in Vietnam.
Starting in November 2018, the Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals will be staged on indoor hard courts at Palexpo, which has a capacity of more than 18,000 spectators.
Geneva beat out five other bids for the right to be the first host. The other cities in contention were Copenhagen, Denmark; Miami; Istanbul, Turkey; Turin, Italy; and Wuhan, China.
The ITF said it chose the host venue well in advance in an effort to follow the successful model used by the Super Bowl and Champions League final.
“By providing Geneva with a full year to organize and promote the event, it will be able to fully maximize the competition’s potential, elevating venue and hosting standards to a consistent Grand Slam level and delivering the very best athlete and fan experience,” Haggerty said.
For the early rounds, the ITF said the traditional format will continue.
The ITF has been working to reform the Davis Cup and Fed Cup this year. It has already proposed making the Davis Cup matches best-of-three sets instead of the usual best-of-five.
The new World Cup of Tennis could also include the Fed Cup semifinals along with the finals, allowing the ITF to expand the competition’s top group back to 16 teams. The Davis Cup’s top group has 16 teams.