The eyes of the entire tennis world will be set upon Orlando on August 16, with the ITF Annual general meeting ready to bring the main issues of the upcoming Davis Cup changes that gathered a lot of controversies over the last couple of months.
The ITF is eager to reform the most important men's team competition and create the super-rich year-end event that should be governed by the investment group Kosmos in the next 25-year, with the partnership worth of $3 billion! If the proposal gets enough votes at AGM, the Davis Cup Finals will be played in a world class European location, with 18 strongest teams fighting for the prestigious title that dates back to 1900.
The plan is to have the qualifying round set for February, with 24 countries that would fight for the 12 places in the final, in home and away ties (the losing teams will go to Zone Group). Four semi-finalists from the previous season will grant the place in the final for the next season, joined by those 12 qualifiers and two wild card squads.
They will form six groups of three teams who will then play in the quarters, semis and in the final (group winners and two best runner-up countries will advance into the last eight). Two worst teams will be relegated to Zone Group and those ranked between 5th and 16th place will have to play the qualifying event next season.
The format of play is going to be changed as well, with just two singles matches and one doubles, all played on one day. The qualifying ties and those in Zone Groups I and II will maintain the current form of four singles rubbers and a doubles one, played over a course of two days instead of three as it was until now.
All matches will be the best-of-three tie break sets, including doubles, in order to shorten the matches and give players more time to rest. Australia is the main opponent of the proposed reforms and it should be interesting to follow the action from Orlando and to see the final decision about this burning tennis question.