The Davis Cup Problem

The Davis Cup is the biggest and oldest team competition in tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in world sport, with 142 nations competing for a spot in the year end finals. The latest instalment of the Davis Cup started yesterday and will span across the coming ten days.

In 2019, the Davis Cup changed to an 18-team event, held in one week at the end of the season. The new format was backed by Spanish footballer, Gerard Piqué, and his company Kosmos, who signed a 25 year deal with the ITF to acquire the rights for the Davis Cup Finals for $3 billion. Their vision was simple, to create the world cup of tennis.

However, prior to the tournaments relaunch back in 2019 tensions were high. Those who had spent years playing, watching and organising the old Davis Cup, felt that tradition had been ripped away from them. The traditional home or away, weekend-long ties building over a whole year to a showpiece final were pretty popular with fans and players alike. Fans were often loud and rowdy, the closest tennis came to a football style atmosphere. The new format took much of this away, it also included sharing the stadiums with other fans of various countries playing the same day, which definitely lost that classic Davis Cup feel.

Another problem area was that a rival new team competition, The ATP Cup, was set to launch five weeks after the Davis Cup final. Many top players voiced that they would not be happy to play what was basically the same event twice within such a short space of time. That's not to mention that the five week period between the events was the off season. The already questionably short rest period for professional players had been cut even shorter by new events either side of the break.

A proposal to move the Davis Cup to Se