Davis Cup to shorten some matches to en­tice top play­ers


The Malta Independent on Sunday - - SPORT -

Seek­ing to keep the Davis Cup at­trac­tive to top play­ers amid a crowded cal­en­dar, the in­ter­na­tional team event in men’s ten­nis will test a two-day for­mat and best-of-three set matches next year.

The changes will be ap­plied for matches in Zonal Groups I and II — the tiers be­low the World Group — start­ing with the first round in Fe­bru­ary.

Group I matches will be played on Fri­day and Sat­ur­day, and Group II matches on Sat­ur­day and Sun­day. The sin­gles will be played on Day 1, fol­lowed by the dou­bles and then the re­verse sin­gles on Day 2.

ITF President David Hag­gerty said the changes could be ap­plied to World Group matches if the trial is deemed a suc­cess.

In other tri­als tak­ing place fol­low­ing a vote by mem­ber na- tions at the ITF’s an­nual gen­eral meet­ing in Au­gust, team sizes can be in­creased from four play­ers to a max­i­mum of five for matches in the World Group and Zonal Groups I and II.

Also, there will be no fifth match if the fourth match is de­ci­sive. If a team takes an unas­sail­able 3-0 lead, only the fourth match will be played.

“We are work­ing to de­velop player-friendly for­mu­las that give the com­pe­ti­tions the pro­file and stature they de­serve,” Hag­gerty said in a state­ment re­leased Fri­day.

Among other re­forms ap­proved in Au­gust, pre-match com­mit­ments for play­ers in Davis Cup have been re­duced and fi­nal­ists have been given the choice of host­ing their firstround matches the fol­low­ing year.

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