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Davis Cup makeover plans backed

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By Reuters
Davis Cup makeover plans backed
FILE PHOTO: Switzerland's team members hold the trophy after winning the Davis Cup final against France at the Pierre-Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d'Ascq, near Lille, November 23, 2014. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes   -   Copyright  Gonzalo Fuentes(Reuters)

LONDON (Reuters) – Proposals to revamp the Davis Cup into a season-ending 18-team event were backed by national federations at the International Tennis Federation annual general meeting in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday.

The makeover to one of sport’s most famous and oldest international team tournaments has been a contentious issue within tennis but the ITF’s plans received the necessary two-thirds majority from its 210 member nations.

Founded in 1900, the Davis Cup, considered the World Cup of tennis, has suffered in recent years because top players have found its format of several three-day ties, featuring five five-set rubbers, dotted during the season a draining distraction.

The first edition of the new event will be held in Madrid or Lille from 18-24 November 18-24, 2019 with the inaugural host city to be announced in the coming weeks.

The new event will see matches played over the best-of-three sets, culminating in a week-long tournament to determine the world champions.

(Reporting by Ian Chadband, editing by Ed Osmond)