Call it the Gerard Pique effect. Madrid has been announced as the first host of the revamped Davis Cup finals and will stage the event in 2019 and 2020.
The finals have been restructured as a week-long, 18-team event following a 25-year partnership between the International Tennis Federation and investment company the Kosmos group, which was founded by Barcelona defender Pique, who reportedly played a key role in securing the hosting rights for Madrid.
Kosmos is investing $3bn in the event with the aim of raising the Davis Cup to the same commercial level as the grand slams.
The first event will be held at La Caja Magica, the current venue for the Madrid Open, in November 2019 while the city’s WiZink Center will potentially hold the 2020 edition.
“We are delighted to be bringing the 2019 Davis Cup… finals to Madrid,” ITF president David Haggerty said in a statement. “The city is a fitting location to stage the highest quality tennis… We look forward to working with the city to realize our ambitions of elevating the Davis Cup to a new level.”
This year’s finalists, France and Croatia, are guaranteed a place at the 2019 finals along with Spain and the United States, while Argentina and Great Britain have been handed wildcards.
In August Roger Federer warned that the Davis Cup “should not become the Pique Cup”.