The Spanish capital of Madrid has today (Thursday) been chosen to host the first two editions of the new Davis Cup finals in 2019 and 2020.
Next year’s event will be held at the La Caja Mágica stadium. This venue and the WiZink Center are both under consideration to stage the event in 2020.
Madrid has been selected to stage the event ahead of the French city of Lille and today’s announcement comes after the International Tennis Federation last month voted to overhaul the Davis Cup, the leading team event in men’s tennis.
Investment group Kosmos will provide financial support for the revamp of the Davis Cup, with the company having earlier this year signed a 25-year agreement with the ITF to invest $3bn into the sport.
Spanish footballer Gerard Piqué founded Kosmos and serves as chair of the company, whose investment will lead to an increase in prize money for the Davis Cup, bringing it in line with grand slam events.
Next year’s tournament will feature 18 nations competing in a week-long season finale, with the event to be hosted in partnership with the Ayuntamiento de Madrid, the city’s council, and the Comunidad de Madrid, the regional governing body.
ITF president David Haggerty said: “We are delighted to be bringing the 2019 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas finals to Madrid. The city is a fitting location to stage the highest quality tennis and great entertainment for thousands of fans from all over the world. We look forward to working with the city to realise our ambitions of elevating the Davis Cup to a new level. On behalf of the Steering Committee we thank the Ayuntamiento de Madrid and the Comunidad de Madrid, as well as Lille for their excellent proposals and professionalism during the selection process.”
La Caja Mágica features three main show courts, with the Estadio Manolo Santana having a capacity of 12,400. The venue hosts the Madrid Open, a leading event on the ATP World Tour and WTA Tour.
The WiZink Center is an indoor arena with a capacity of 15,000. It is primarily used for basketball and also hosts a range of music concerts.
Next year’s Davis Cup finals will take place in a group-stage format over the first four days, with the countries divided into six groups of three teams. Each tie will comprise three matches – two singles and one doubles – of best-of-three sets.
The six group winners and the two second-placed teams with the best records will then qualify for the knockout quarter-finals, with the teams placed 5th to 16th to compete in the following year’s qualifiers. The teams placed 17th and 18th will be relegated to their respective Zone Groups.