The controversial Davis Cup Final era could be nearing its end as the International Tennis Federation is set to announce a format change later this year. The information was shared at a February 15 Slovak Tennis Federation Executive Committee meeting by general secretary Igor Moška. The meeting’s minutes state: “I. Moška informed that this is the final year of Davis Cup played in the current format, a change coming from the ITF in autumn 2023”. The extent of the change or any other details were not specified.
Partnership Ended With Kosmos
Since the ITF signed a $3billion deal with Gerard Pique’s Kosmos, Davis Cup has shuffled through a number of formats over the past five years, all ending with the Davis Cup Finals. Pique petitioned the ITF to move the Abu Dhabi for five years in 2022 but the partnership was ended by the ITF in January 2023. The ITF claimed that Pique could not keep up with the payments and that they were considering suing for damages. Kosmos filed a multimillion-dollar lawsuit for “unjustified termination of the contract between both parties for the organization of the Davis Cup for 25 years, and for damages to the company” with the Court of Arbitration for Sport just days later.
Embed from Getty Images
New Potential Formats
Most likely the change coming from the ITF will not be as severe as fans may imagine at first. It could simply mean a tweak to the qualification process, shifting World Groups 1 and 2 back to regional to save on costs for federations, or the return of a full 16-team tournament at the end of the season. However, it could mean the ITF fully severing its ties with the Davis Cup Finals and returning to its regular pre-2019 format that produced such incredible atmospheres and has many fans and players feeling nostalgic for it in its absence.
The ITF will announce a Davis Cup format change this autumn, according to a Slovak Tennis Association source. No details on the extent of the changes yet but *something* will be different.
— Jakub Bobro (@bobrojakub) April 21, 2023