The International Tennis Federation (ITF) wants to change the format of the Federation Cup (Fed Cup) and the Davis Cup. One of the changes is they want is that the finals are to be held in a predetermined place. The ITF are thinking to set up a similar system that is used in European Football finals, that are held on neutral ground. At the women’s Fed Cup, the ITF is opting for a Final Four weekend and at the highest level, the biggest change they want to implement is going for 16 participants to eight.
“We want to increase and elevate the Davis Cup and Fed Cup competitions,” DavisHaggerty, President of the ITF, said. “We’ve had a lot of meetings in New York with the tours and constituents, broadcast rights holders, and our sponsors about the possibility of having a neutral final – or final four – as early as 2018. It’s something that our board has said to go ahead and look into.”
ITF view on the home advantage
The current set up has 16 countries and one of the countries, whoever ends up in the finals, will always end up getting the home advantage.
“You’re limited now with the two-month window as to the kind of stadium and its size that you can take over for a week,” said Haggerty, saying the Cup finals are often not maximized. “We want to bring some clarity to it. Fans from nations can begin to plan. We don’t want to lose that atmosphere. It has to be the crazy fans with their faces painted, screaming and shouting. We want that.”
Other changes that are planned are shortening matches. Currently the matches are being played using the Best-of-Five system. One of the changes is turning the fifth set into a tie-breaker instead of a two game difference. The fifth set tie-breaker had a pilot in this year’s Davis Cup matches.
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