Davis Cup makeover plans backed

Barcelona star Gerard Pique missed training due to a Davis Cup announcement

The likes of Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have previously expressed their support for the changes, although those views were by no means universally held - the likes of Lleyton Hewitt and Lucas Pouille particularly outspoken in their dislike of the proposed format.

It would be staged just six weeks after the Davis Cup event, scheduling that ATP executive chairman Chris Kermode described as "insane".

Another backer of the idea is United States billionaire Larry Ellison, who says he will invest in a revamped Davis Cup and says his Indian Wells facility is a candidate to host the event in 2021 after plans to host it for two years in Europe.

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".

The International Tennis Federation believes this format will be more attractive to elite players who often pass on competing for their countries because of a crowded schedule.

Critics said that those changes damaged the entire fabric of the competition and that the players were not consulted about the plans. He also dearly wants to win the only ATP Masters 1000 title that has eluded him - nobody has won all nine. Two wildcard teams will complete the 18 teams to contest a World Cup-style competition that lasts one week.

It will have double the total prize money and matches in the world group will be shortened from best of five to best of three sets.

Founded in 1900, the Davis Cup, considered the World Cup of tennis, has suffered in recent years because top players have found its format of several three-day ties, featuring five five-set rubbers, dotted during the season a draining distraction.

The new format will involve a qualifying round in February, in which 24 teams will take part in home-and-away matches, with the 12 winners securing a direct place into the final.

The top teams from each group and the two highest-scoring runners-up will play the quarter-finals on the Friday, with the semi-finals on Saturday and the final held on Sunday.

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Who is backing the new event?

The ITF say that the 25-year agreement with Kosmos represents a total investment of U.S. $3 billion into tennis which will transform the global development of the sport.

Players and officials had spoken out before the vote, with some claiming the reforms would "kill" the Davis Cup, which has a 118-year history.

American billionaire Larry Ellison, who runs the Indian Wells tournament, has said he will also invest.

The LTA is concerned about the impact on the tennis calendar, how the new format would work in practice, and division being created among ITF member nations.

"Our mission is to ensure that this historic decision will benefit the next generation of players for decades to come".

However, the LTA said it recognised "reform of the competition is needed".

"The money that we make will be put back to the nations for their development programs and the future of tennis", Haggerty said.

The International Tennis Federation's radical overhaul of the Davis Cup has left Australia's scheduled World Group playoff in Austria in limbo.

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