LONDON, Nov 24 (Reuters) – The International Tennis Federation (ITF) expects to announce the host cities for next 12 months’s Davis Cup Finals earlier than the top of this 12 months’s occasion which begins on Thursday.
This 12 months’s 18-nation competitors is being staged throughout three cities — Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck.
The males’s crew competitors, which started in 1900, has undergone varied modifications to the format, the latest being in 2019 when the previous ‘house and away’ ties had been largely scrapped and changed by a World Cup-style finals held in Madrid.
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Last 12 months’s version was not held due to the pandemic.
A report printed within the Daily Telegraph on Thursday mentioned the ITF, along with co-house owners Kosmos, had opted to take the competitors to the United Arab Emirates for 5 years.
The ITF issued a response to the hypothesis afterward Thursday.
“Speculation about a host for Davis Cup Finals in the Middle East is nothing new,” an ITF spokesperson mentioned. “The ITF Board is reviewing host cities for 2022 together with Kosmos and expect to make a decision by the end of the Finals.”
The transfer away from the previous format house and away ties that had been performed over the course of a 12 months, culminating in a last staged at a venue of one of many competing groups, attracted widespread criticism from throughout the sport.
While the inaugural Madrid finals in 2019, gained by Spain, had been deemed successful with some excessive-high quality motion, the format was problematic with late finishes to matches and an absence of restoration time for gamers on the finish of a protracted season.
There had been additionally paltry crowds at among the matches performed on three courts contained in the Caja Magica — a far cry from the partisan crowds that had been a trademark of Davis Cup ties.
$3 BILLION DEAL
Kosmos, a Spanish funding group based by soccer participant Gerard Pique, agreed a 25-12 months $3 billion cope with the ITF in 2018 to remodel the competitors.
Germany captain Michael Kohlmann mentioned the current format wants to be given time.
“Two years ago in Madrid the event was something special but the audience was missing,” he mentioned on Wednesday in Innsbruck, the place his crew are in a gaggle with Austria and Serbia.
“I think that this format has to be given a chance, but I don’t think that the fans will travel around the world each and every year. It’s not like football.”
Britain’s captain Leon Smith mentioned the gamers and captains ought to be concerned within the choice-making course of.
“Everybody wants the Davis Cup to have an important part going forward. Talking to anybody: the atmosphere, the environment is so important. I know that things have to change. Kosmos will try to find what’s best, but there’s got to be an open dialogue about the future of the competition.”
Austria captain Stefan Koubeck mentioned the Davis Cup would by no means be the identical once more.
“It’s not what it used to be when I was still playing. The home matches are sorely missed and you can’t compensate for that,” he mentioned from Innsbruck the place the ties will be staged with out followers due to a COVID-19 lockdown.
This 12 months’s Finals concludes on Dec. 5 in Madrid.