Davis Cup Finals: 2021 event expanded to 11 days to ‘ease burden on players’

The Davis Cup Finals will be expanded to an 11-day event, and could in future be staged in three different cities.

Rafael Nadal’s Spain won the inaugural 18-team Finals in Madrid in 2019.

But some matches were poorly attended, and the congested schedule led to the group match between the United States and Italy finishing at 4.04 am.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has already accepted two proposals from its partner Kosmos after a review of the 2019 event.

The first edition was a week-long event but this year’s Finals will take place over 11 days between 25 November and 5 December.

And the 18 teams involved will be reduced to 16 in time for the 2022 competition.

A decision about whether to introduce three host cities will be taken by the ITF by March. A bidding process is already underway, with Covid-19 contingency plans an important element for this year.

If this is approved, two European cities would host group matches and a quarter-final along with Madrid, which would remain the venue for the semi-finals and the final.

„We are confident these adjustments will enhance the experience for players and fans,“ tournament director Albert Costa said.

„With large stadiums providing show courts for all ties, the introduction of a multi-city event will bring the competition to the widest possible audience, while we will also be able to ease the burden on players with improvements to the scheduling. Crucially, a revised schedule will allow us to avoid late finishes while providing more rest for players.“

The major drawback is that the season will now stretch into December, and allow players just four weeks before the following year’s schedule begins in Australia.

The ITF and Kosmos have made no secret of their desire to move the Davis Cup to September, but have not yet been able to reach an agreement with the men’s ATP Tour.

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