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Davis Cup Revamp Could 'Kill Its Soul', Belgian Tennis Official Says

Davis Cup Revamp Could 'Kill Its Soul', Belgian Tennis Official Says

This revamping is done in a partnership alliance with the company Kosmos, which is founded by Spanish and Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique.

The ITF on Friday announced its plan to transform the Davis Cup competition with backing from investment group Kosmos.

The Davis Cup is set to undergo the biggest shake-up in its 118-year history with the International Tennis Federation's announcement of plans to transform the elite group of nations into a one-week tennis World Cup finals.

If the proposals are passed, the event would be staged in the same week that the Davis Cup final is now held, with a round-robin format followed by knockout stages and ties consisting of two singles and one doubles match.

There will also be a play-off round which will include the eight nations that qualify from the Zone Group I events.

"Kosmos is thrilled to join in this exciting partnership with the ITF", Pique said.

The investment will see significant increases in prize money to lure the sport's top stars, who often skip Davis Cup matches, and provide funding for grassroots tennis projects.

ITF president David Haggerty also says the changes will make it "so much more appealing and tangible to the top players".

The announcement has surprised many in the Australian tennis community, including Woodbridge, a former Davis Cup coach.

After hosting two worldwide mega tournaments, Asian Athletics Championship and World Men's Hockey League, successfully and preparing for the Hockey World Cup to be held in November, the State Government is now planning to organise a Davis Cup in future.

Haggerty said the ITF's long-term goal is to turn the Fed Cup into a similar one-week event.

The ITF failed to get approval from its members a year ago for a change from best-of-five-sets matches in singles to best-of-three-sets so there must be considerable doubt that the proposal will be ratified.

Pouille said that he thought it was even less likely that major names like Roger Federer, at age 36, and Rafael Nadal would once again play the event if it was scheduled at the end of a long ATP season. It needs approval by a two-thirds majority. The eight teams who fail to make the knockout stages will then face the eight zonal winners in a playoff during that same week.

"I think it's a death sentence of the Davis Cup", second seed Pouille said at the Dubai Championships on Tuesday after beating Ernests Gulbis in the first round. "We think that this will have a World Cup football atmosphere". It [a team competition in a single city or country] works in other sports but it remains to be seen if it could work in Davis Cup.

"Obviously they can not call it a Davis Cup any more", he said. It's not because of this that he's not coming to Davis Cup.

American Davis Cup captain Jim Courier supports the plans but said "it's politically tricky and no sure thing that this gets rubber-stamped". This is going to ruin tennis.

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