Innsbruck and Turin join Madrid as Davis Cup Finals go three ways
The Davis Cup, the annual men's national teams tennis tournament that underwent major reform in 2019, has been rejigged once again, with a multi-city hosting model for this year’s Finals announced today.
The International Tennis Federation and event partner Kosmos Tennis, a major stakeholder in the Davis Cup, have named Innsbruck in Austria and Turin in Italy as host cities alongside the Spanish capital Madrid, which solely staged the revamped competition in 2019, and was slated to do so last year before it was cancelled due the coronavirus pandemic.
Innsbruck and Turin were selected after submitting “impressive bids," according to the organisers. Glasgow in the UK missed out in the process.
Each city will host two of the six groups, with Madrid staging two quarter-finals, and Innsbruck and Turin having one quarter-final apiece. The semi-finals and final will take place in Madrid.
The Davis Cup will be played over an extended 11-day period between 25 November and 5 December later this year.
The organisers said the 11-day format will “improve the schedule for players, enhance the experience for fans and bring the competition to a wider audience.”
Matches in Madrid will be staged at the Madrid Arena in the Casa de Campo, while Innsbruck's Olympia-Halle and the Pala Alpitour Arena in Turin are the other two venues.
The move to three host cities comes after Kosmos put a proposal to the ITF in January following a review of the inaugural Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals in Madrid in November 2019.
The ITF board agreed to "enter a period of consultation over the introduction of a multi-city format for the 2021 edition onwards" and has now officially decided to move away from its previously stated commitment of having the tournament in one city.
Further changes are also expected in terms of scheduling as the inaugural tournament was contested over just seven days, which presented some issues.
The same 18 nations that qualified for the 2020 Finals will participate this year, but it has already been agreed that, from 2022, the number will drop to 16 teams.
Albert Costa, director of the Davis Cup Finals, said: ''We are very excited to bring the Davis Cup Finals to Innsbruck and Turin. Both cities submitted impressive bids that not only promise a world class experience for players and fans, but also include stringent measures to ensure the health and safety of all in attendance.
“It was important to find two European cities that were well connected to Madrid, with similar playing conditions, to provide a smooth transition for players travelling from other venues."
Kris Dent, ITF senior executive director of professional tennis, added: "The proposals announced in January were aimed at providing a better schedule for players while bringing the competition to new audiences and improving the experience for fans.
"Following a thorough bid process, we are delighted to be able to confirm Innsbruck and Turin as co-hosts alongside Madrid. We are confident that, together, they will deliver an outstanding world championship event for players and fans alike."
The ITF reformed the Davis Cup through a 25-year, $3-billion partnership with Kosmos Tennis, the sports and media investment group founded by Spanish soccer star Gerard Piqué, with significant backing from Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten.