The ITF's plans for a revamped Davis Cup competition are drawing mixed reactions from players and officials, who are either criticizing or backing the changes.
The ITF's board has approved plans for a one-week competition played between 18 nations at a neutral location, with ties consisting of two singles and one doubles. It is accompanied by an investment of more than a hundred million dollars annually by a group that includes Spanish soccer player Gerard Pique, which would contribute to prize money of more than $20 million and grassroots funding. The changes would require a two-thirds vote from member federations at the organization's annual meeting.
Under its current structure, Davis Cup is played for four weeks during a season, with home and away ties composed of four singles and one doubles. All matches in World Group competition are best of five sets.
Players and former players in France and Australia have been vocal in criticizing such changes.
Former Davis Cup coach Todd Woodbridge described the move as throwing a "bomb into the tennis landscape," adding, "I’m at the coalface and this is the first time I’ve heard about it."
Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt tweeted a newspaper article expressing anger at the ITF's announcement, which also included Pat Cash's expletive-laden reaction. Former French Fed Cup captain Amelie Mauresmo also added her own expletive and agreement.
While former Australian captain Pat Rafter did note problems with the current structure of Davis Cup, another former captain John Fitzgerald said the scheduling would not help Australian tournaments.
Neither the Australian nor the French federation chiefs have officially commented, though Bernard Giudicelli of the FFT is on the ITF board and would have voted for the changes.
French Davis Cup captain Yannick Noah, who led the country to Davis Cup victory in 2017, tweeted that the competition was finished.