The Davis Cup can become the one definitive group event in tennis, says the president of the International Tennis Federation.
David Haggerty has brokered a brand-new offer to reform the competition, which he says will offer an extra $25m a year for tennis advancement all over the world.
Nevertheless, the ATP is planning to hold a revamped World Team Cup in Australia in the first week of January from 2020, 5 weeks after the first staging of the brand-new week-long 18-team Davis Cup finals.
Haggerty says negotiations are continuing with the ATP “to run one team occasion – the very best that we can”.
” We believe Davis Cup with its 118-year history has a terrific reason to be that occasion, and I think by collaborating with the ATP, and tennis … why not?” Haggerty informed BBC Sport.
A $3bn, 25-year collaboration has actually been agreed with Kosmos, the investment group founded by the Barcelona protector Gerard Pique.
Kosmos will be putting around $125m into the sport each year, and Haggerty stated “the economics are there for them to be able to make some money as well.”
He also confirmed Madrid would host the Davis Cup finals in 2019 and 2020 before the competitors move somewhere else. In 2019, it will happen at the Caja Magica, which stages the Madrid Open in May.
And in spite of the ATP’s plans for their own World Cup event, Haggerty hopes that, after conversations, the Davis Cup will be able to claim its location as the important team event in the sport.
How much richer might tennis be?
The ITF has licensed the rights to the week-long Davis Cup finals to Kosmos for 25 years from 2019.
In return, Kosmos has guaranteed to invest about $125m into the sport each year. Haggerty says a deposit of $18m has currently been paid into the ITF’s bank account with the rest of the first year’s loan to follow in January.
Of the $80m earmarked for the Davis Cup, $20m will enter into prize money and $16m into marketing and staging costs.
The staying $44m will be the ITF’s license fee, which Haggerty states will lead to a $25m boost in the quantity of cash it will have the ability to distribute to member countries and development tasks each year.
The staying $45m will be for the other events the ITF and Kosmos wish to phase in due courses, such as a winner-takes-all competition and a blended team occasion comparable in format to January’s Hopman Cup.
Will Kosmos be able to bear the expense?
The cash promised by Kosmos is eye-watering, by tennis requirements.
” We utilized Deloitte as an outdoors 3rd party to take a look at the numbers and business plan, so we had the convenience as we were deciding,” Haggerty says.
” It is a substantial and large quantity of loan which we are delighted about. However, we know the economics are there for them to be able to make some loan also.”
The hope is that broadcast rights and sponsorship for the finals will be much more financially rewarding now the venue and the groups are known ahead of time.
Will the best players play?
This is the $3bn concern, and crucial to the success of the brand-new venture.
Switzerland and Serbia will have to win a preliminary round in February to receive the finals, however even if they do, will Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic commit to play?
Federer has actually currently warned that the Davis Cup “must not become the Pique Cup,” and there may be a clash in years to come between the Davis Cup and the Laver Cup, which is partially owned by Federer’s management company.
The Laver Cup has so far taken place 2 weeks after the US Open, which is a slot the ITF and Kosmos are considering for the Davis Cup from 2020.
Pique informed Le Figaro in August that he desires the competition to be staged in September, as it is a far better time for the players.
Will tennis have 2 contending world group cups?
Next year’s occasion will definitely be kept in November, which suggests the ATP’s proposed World Cup would follow on simply 5 weeks later on.
That is a circumstance the ATP chief executive Chris Kermode has actually described as “ridiculous,” but the ATP and Tennis Australia have signed a deal to stage a January World Cup from 2020. The agreement is understood not to have an exit provision.
Routine conversations have been taking place between the ATP and the ITF in recent weeks to see whether some sort of compromise can be struck.
” My business history has actually constantly been attempting to work together and work together,” Haggerty says.
” I’m delighted that we’re having the conversations again. I do not know what the result will be, but I believe it’s much better for tennis if tennis can collaborate. We ought to have the ability to collaborate.”
For the moment, Haggerty is ruling out unilateral action, choosing instead to construct a consensus through discussion.
” Almost weekly in the calendar has something, so if we were to try and move into any various week, we would be taking somebody on which’s why I believe sitting together with tennis is the best solution.”
Loan is not the only sticking point. However, sources suggest ITF/Kosmos’ preliminary $5m a year deal to the ATP for a co-sanctioned event was considered inadequate, especially as they were intending to secure 1000 ATP ranking points for each of the winning group in return.
Will the Fed Cup get the Kosmos makeover?
Reform of the Fed Cup, on the other hand, is still dragging, however, Haggerty turns down Martina Navratilova’s belief that the females’s team competitors has actually become an “after-thought.”.
The Fed Cup will keep its current format in 2019, however, the hope is that from 2020, it will either work in the very same way as the reformed Davis Cup, or culminate in a four-team end-of-year final.
” From here we’ll be focusing more on Fed Cup,” Haggerty describes.
” I do not believe the Fed Cup has been an after-thought. I believe it came down to how much we could take on at one moment.
” Fed Cup is extremely, crucial. Tennis is a fantastic gender equality sport – we want to do the best we can for the Fed Cup competitors. We’re taking a little bit more time, so it will be a year later on, however it will be a great outcome.