Following uproar, Davis Cup reforms to include a round of 12 home ties

by: Kamakshi Tandon | May 17, 2018

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The winners would then advance to an one-week, 18-nation competition at year's end. (AP)

The ITF is adjusting its Davis Cup reforms following the sharply divided reaction to its original plans.

ITF President David Haggerty told the Telegraph that the new planned structure would begin with an initial round between 24 nations the week following the Australian Open, with the 12 winning nations joining the previous four semifinalist nations and two wild card nations in a one-week competition similar to the one originally submitted.

"We are looking at a round of 24 teams in home-and-away ties in February, in the week after the Australian Open, producing 12 winners," he said. "They would then go on to the November tournament, along with the four semi-finalists from the previous year, and two invited teams."

The investment group backing the project has been working with Haggerty and agreed to the changes, he indicated. The adjustment appears to be aimed at objections to the removal of home-and-away ties from several federations and players,  who said the opportunity to play at home was among the chief attractions of the competition.

"It’s important for the national federations to be able to stage ties," Haggerty said. "It’s a way of promoting the sport and of connecting with fans."

Spain's quarterfinal win against Germany in Valencia, which featured Rafael Nadal and two five-set thrillers in front of thousands packed into a historic stadium, particularly seemed to galvanize opposition.

WATCH—Rafael Nadal beats Alexander Zverev in Davis Cup:

The ITF Board had previously approved a one-week, 18-nation competition in place of the current Davis Cup structure, which consists of a 16-nation World Group playing four rounds of home and away ties spread across the season. In total, around 200 nations participate in the competition within the various regional groups.

In addition, Haggerty confirmed plans to expand the Fed Cup World Group to 16 nations from 8 nations. This includes the semifinals and finals being played at a single location at the home of one of the semifinalist nations.

The Davis Cup plans require approval from its member federations.

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