ITF committed to Davis-ATP Cup merger

(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty said yesterday that plans for merging the Davis Cup and the ATP Cup into a single men’s world team event could be in place by June.

Speaking at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Haggerty said, according to Reuters: “We are talking to the ATP, we’ve heard the players’ comments, we know that the ATP has as well.

“It would make sense to have one event that could be the team event for the men. We’re having discussions and we’ll see what happens.

“The vision to me seems to be having one strong event and we’re very open to that conversation.”

He added that meetings had already taken place and the ATP leadership was “very definitely” inclined to a single annual men’s team event.

“Our goal is over the next few months that we have some serious discussions and see if there’s some alignment,” Haggerty said.

“I’d say by Roland Garros, Wimbledon, yeah, that sort of timing. A lot will depend on what it would look like, but I think that if the parties are open to looking at various possibilities, anything is possible. I’m an optimist by nature.

“We just have to have those conversations and how we work together. A lot of times, it’s not just about the money, it’s about the schedule for the players, it’s about having more of an off-season.

“Tennis is committed to having these conversations and trying to come up with the best formula.”

In November, Gerard Piqué, founder and chairman of Kosmos, floated the prospect of a “super event” in association with the ATP , reflecting on the first edition of the new-look Davis Cup Finals by stating that there is a “lot of different options” for the hosting rights from 2021 onwards.

Kosmos is the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF’s) commercial partner in the re-invigoration of the historic Davis Cup, holding a 25-year contract with the sport’s world governing body.

Piqué conceded that the looming presence of the ATP Cup represents a significant challenge to the Davis Cup. However, he expressed his confidence that Kosmos and the ITF could work with the ATP’s new leadership to create a September-based event.