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Davis Cup revamp will lift event to whole new level, says tennis chief

 

By Eleanor Crooks

The International Tennis Federation is confident it has enough support to push through controversial Davis Cup reform plans.

National federations will gather in Orlando, Florida next week for the ITF AGM, with all the focus on Thursday's vote, where proposals to transform the Davis Cup into a World Cup-style event will be put to the test.

The radical plans have been the talk of tennis since they were announced by ITF President David Haggerty in February and have generated strong opposition. But, with little over a week to go until the vote, Haggerty believes he is winning the argument.

The American said: "We think the nations see this as a good opportunity. Not all will agree. We need a two-thirds majority and we're feeling confident about that.

"Davis Cup is such a great competition and I think the reforms we're talking about will really elevate it to a new level."

If the plans are approved, from next year the Davis Cup will begin with one traditional home-and-away round in February before an 18-team event staged over one week at the end of November decides the winners of the competition.

Hefty financial backing comes from the Kosmos investment group founded by Barcelona and Spain footballer Gerard Pique, which has pledged to plough $3billion (approximately £2.3billion) into tennis over 25 years.

After a series of blows, a significant boost arrived on Monday with the backing - verbal and financial - of billionaire Larry Ellison, who owns the hugely popular and successful Indian Wells tournament.

Belfast Telegraph

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