Tennis chiefs plan revamp of Davis, Fed Cup finals

Wed Sep 21, 2016 2:49am EDT
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By Ossian Shine

LONDON (Reuters) - Tennis chiefs plan to adopt the NFL's Super Bowl model, by selecting fixed-venue cities in advance for their showcase Davis and Fed Cup finals.

The switch away from one of the finalists hosting the decider is part of a broader strategy aimed at developing the men's and women's international team events.

"This is all part of our mission to make the appeal of tennis broad and wide," International Tennis Federation President David Haggerty told Reuters.

Other options under consideration include a tweak of formats to reduce the length of matches, and expanding the top-tier Fed Cup competition to feature 16 nations.

Haggerty, elected president a year ago, hopes to have the new hosting system in place by 2018.

"Davis Cup is 135 nations," Haggerty said. "This is a way to unlock potential revenue which will help grassroots tennis."

Speaking at his Roehampton office, in a suburban district of south-west London, Haggerty did not name a figure cities would have to come up with to host the final, but said he thought it would be "significant".

"We're waiting for cities to distinguish themselves," he smiled. "And we'll see what it is. I don't want to prejudge what it might be."   Continued...

International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty (L-R), Tennis Integrity Board Chairman Philip Brook and Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Chairman Chris Kermode hold a news conference at the Australian Open tennis tournament at Melbourne Park, Australia, January 27, 2016. REUTERS/Jason Reed