Best-of-five sets kept in Davis Cup, but trial changes to be allowed

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Juan Martin del Potro competes in the 2016 Davis Cup final. (AP)

The tradition of playing best-of-five sets in Davis Cup was extended by an International Tennis Federation vote in its annual general meeting, but trial changes to the team competition will now not have to meet such requirements.

The ITF Board had approved changing Davis Cup ties to best-of-three sets, but ITF figures said the measure got 63.54 percent of federation votes, which is less than the required two-thirds.

"We respect the decision of the [annual general meeting] but are disappointed that our member nations have not approved the full package of Davis Cup and Fed Cup reforms endorsed by the ITF Board," ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement.

Some smaller changes, including giving the Davis Cup and Fed Cup finalists the choice of a home tie in the first round the following year, were approved.

But the board also received the authority to introduce trial changes to the competitions with no voting approval by member nations, which was called "groundbreaking" by the ITF president.

The ITF Board had also approved holding the Davis Cup final in a neutral location, but as planned, did not submit the measure to a vote during the meeting. Several players have criticized having the final in a neutral location, and ITF officials had indicated there was also a lack of backing by the member nations.


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