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The ITF approves Gerard Pique's new Davis Cup

17 August 2018

The 118-year-old Davis Cup will be transformed into a World Cup-style event next year after the International Tennis Federation's proposal received a vote of approval at its annual general meeting in Florida yesterday.

Gerard Piqué, the Spain and Barcelona footballer, led the celebrations...

The Davis Cup is now played in February, April, September and November at home and away venues. By voting in favor of these reforms, we will be able to work with Kosmos to realize the huge potential of the competition and elevate it to new standards.

Pique said: "Today is a historic day and we are convinced that the agreement ratified by the nations certainly guarantees the future of the Davis Cup and the development of tennis at all levels".

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The Lawn Tennis Association, Britain's governing body, opposed the proposals.

In explaining its decision to vote against the changes, the LTA said in a statement: 'Concerns remain that the proposed format and its impact on the tennis calendar, extending the season for players, risks player participation and therefore fan appeal'.

The matches are played in February, April, September and November at home and away venues, with all World Group ties played over a best-of-five tie of five-set matches.

More details have emerged about the possible new Davis Cup format that is expected to be introduced in 2019.

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The news means that, barring some unexpected obstacle, this will be the past year of the existing Davis Cup system, which features four knockout rounds for the World Group countries.

Victory over the Dominic Thiem-led Austrians would have propelled Australia back into the 16-team World Group in 2019 but the playoff now appears meaningless, with Australia needing to take part in February qualifiers next year just to make the new 18-team competition.

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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The ITF approves Gerard Pique's new Davis Cup