Spain and France targeted for finale to new-look Davis Cup

Spanish Tennis Federation (RFET) president Miguel Diaz has said talks have been held with Spain and FC Barcelona football star Gerard Pique’s Kosmos group about staging the finale of a revamped Davis Cup in Madrid or France next year.

In February, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) hailed a major $3bn (€2.48bn) partnership with investment group Kosmos that is set to introduce a new annual season-ending national team tournament and realise long-held plans to overhaul the Davis Cup.

The 25-year contract with Kosmos, a European-based holding company focused on building a global portfolio of media and sports assets, will seek to transform the historic Davis Cup and generate substantial revenues for global tennis development.

The ITF Board of Directors has unanimously endorsed a proposal to create a major new annual season-ending World Cup of Tennis Finals that will crown the Davis Cup champions. Featuring 18 nations and played over one week in a single location in November, the event will be staged by Kosmos in partnership with the ITF.

Pique is the founder and president of Kosmos. The group is backed by Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and chief executive of Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten. Diaz has said talks were held over the Davis Cup plans during the recent Madrid Open, which concluded at the Caja Mágica (pictured) in the Spanish capital on Sunday.

“We are looking at a formula whereby the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will be held in Madrid or in France so it doesn’t have to go to Asia,” Diaz said, according to the Reuters news agency.

“We’ve had a couple of meetings with Gerard Pique and we will have one more but we still need data. We are looking at the final format and still nothing has been decided. We will make the decision at our board meeting at the end of May.”

The ITF said in February that several world-class cities had already expressed interest in hosting the new event, with the federation and Kosmos to continue discussions with a view to launching the Finals in 2019. The plans will be submitted to the ITF Annual General Meeting, to be held in August in Orlando, Florida. A two-thirds majority will be required for final approval.