Neutral ground for Davis, Fed Cup finals?

(From left) Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium and David Haggerty, president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), stand on the court during the opening ceremony of the Davis Cup final between Belgium and Britain on Nov 27, 2015.
(From left) Queen Mathilde and King Philippe of Belgium and David Haggerty, president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), stand on the court during the opening ceremony of the Davis Cup final between Belgium and Britain on Nov 27, 2015. PHOTO: AFP

LOS ANGELES • The president of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) has raised the prospect of a radical overhaul of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup, which would see the tournament finales played on neutral soil between four finalists.

Newly installed ITF chief David Haggerty said he is interested in exploring the possibility of a "final four" concept as part of moves to "polish and update" the competitions.

"A fundamental thing that I think is important to Davis Cup and Fed Cup is the home-and-away format, especially in the earlier rounds," he told ITF World magazine in an interview.

"What would be very interesting to me is a final-four concept. In the final week, generally in November, we would have the final-four teams come together in a neutral location.

"We could have the semi-finals in the first three days, a day of rest and then three days for the final."

Under the current format, Davis Cup finals are played on the home soil of one of the two finalists.

Haggerty said another idea would be to give the finalist and runner-up a bye in the first round of the next year's competition.

"One of the things that's confusing is that you are the world champion in November and then you are defending in January or February," he said.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on January 10, 2016, with the headline 'Neutral ground for Davis, Fed Cup finals?'. Print Edition | Subscribe