Davis Cup changed to year-end, 18-team tournament

The International Tennis Federation voted Thursday to change the Davis Cup to a season-ending, 18-team tournament.

The new format will begin next year and replaces the current system that sees the tournament played over four weekends spaced throughout the year.

“This new event will create a true festival of tennis and entertainment which will be more attractive to players, to fans, to sponsors and to broadcasters,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a news release after the vote at the organization’s conference in Orlando, Florida.

The revised Davis Cup will see 24 countries taking part in a home-or-away qualifying round in February, with half the field advancing to the final tournament. Those 12 nations will be joined by the four semifinalists from the prior year as well as two wild-card teams.

The first year-end tournament will take place Nov. 18-24, 2019, in either Madrid, Spain, or Lille, France.