Geneva in Switzerland has seen off competition from five other cities to be named as the preferred host of the finals of both Davis Cup and Fed Cup, the men’s and women's national teams tennis competitions, respectively, from 2018.
The International Tennis Federation has been working on a revamped model for the Davis Cup and Fed Cup since president David Haggerty was elected in September 2015, with finals in a neutral location considered a priority.
The combined finals will become known as the World Cup of Tennis finals.
Bids from Geneva, Copenhagen, Miami, Istanbul, Turin and Wuhan were presented to the ITF board at a meeting in Frankfurt yesterday, and the Swiss city was selected as the preferred host for three consecutive years.
That decision will go before the ITF annual general meeting in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in August for ratification.
The ITF said the new event, to start in November 2018, would be staged on hard court at the 18,000-seater Palexpo, which has staged more than 10 Davis Cup and Fed Cup ties over the years.
In total, more than 20 cities expressed interest in hosting the new season-ending event in a process that began last September when the ITF hired CSM Sport & Entertainment, the UK-based sports marketing agency, to find potential host cities for the two finals. Cities were able to present bids for one or both finals, but in the end the ITF said the six shortlisted cities wanted to host a combined finals.
Haggerty said: “The creation of the World Cup of Tennis finals is at the heart of a series of reforms that represent the most significant changes in the history of Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas. Change is needed to ensure that we maximise the full potential of these iconic and historic competitions. We’ve consulted widely and listened carefully, and believe we will deliver an exceptional new event for fans, players and nations.”
He added: “By providing Geneva with a full year to organise and promote the event, it will be able to fully maximise the competition’s potential, elevating venue and hosting standards to a consistent Grand Slam level and delivering the very best athlete and fan experience.
“All six cities were highly capable and presented outstanding bids, and each would have been an excellent choice. In the end, the Board felt that Geneva offered the best conditions for hosting this exciting and innovative new event, and will deliver a truly world-class event.”
The ITF president has previously stated that a revamp of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup to make them more relevant will help to bring in an extra $20 million of sponsorship revenue by 2020.
Earlier this month, the ITF board backed the recommendations put forward by the Davis Cup and Fed Cup Committees, which include: switching the Davis Cup to best-of-three-set matches in place of the current five-set model; guaranteeing the finalists the choice of hosting their first-round tie in the following year; amending the dead rubber policy; and reducing the hosting costs for national associations.
Davis Cup ties will, however, continue to be played over three days (Friday to Sunday), and not condensed into a weekend as had been suggested.