Davis Cup news: Finals Group Stage split from knockouts
The Davis Cup Finals are to undergo further changes in format as the tournament seeks new life.
Davis Cup Finals Group Stage matches are now set to be played in a block seperate from the knockouts.
This revised phase has been pencilled in for September, following the US Open.
The Davis Cup Finals knockouts, which feature the quarter-finals onwards, will then be held in one yet-to-be-announced venue from 23-27 November 2022.
Four, as yet unnamed, cities will play host to the four groups with the knockout stage rumoured to have been promised to Abu Dhabi.
Efforts to reinvigorate the Davis Cup, led by new investors who came on board in 2019, have been welcomed but the execution has been criticised.
The proximity to the ATP Cup has drawn fire with many keen to see the tournament moved away from the tail-end of the season.
Top-ranked Brit Cameron Norrie was among the players who has questioned the scheduling.
“I love both events, but they are too close in the calendar and you are almost playing the same event back to back,” Norrie told BBC Sport.
Top players find that the pair of international team tournaments elongate their season.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) said the decision to move forward the Davis Cup Finals group stage was based on player feedback.
Albert Costa, Tournament Director, said; “Players and captains were clear that they like the changes to the format so far, but want to avoid the late finish to the season.
“The decision to move the group stage to September addresses this, while at the same time continuing the multi-city format of the group stage, and adding a fourth city, ensures even more fans across the world can enjoy the unique Davis Cup atmosphere and support their teams live.”
The ITF have vowed to make the Davis Cup work.
David Haggerty, ITF President, said: “We are committed to maintaining the traditional elements and atmosphere that make the Davis Cup so unique.
“At the same time, we’re aware we also need to remain flexible to the needs of nations, players, fans and the game as a whole.
“We are proud of what we have achieved with the initial changes made to the Davis Cup Finals over the last few years and are committed to the ongoing development of the competition for the benefit of all involved.”
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