Davis Cup move to Abu Dhabi met with mixed reaction
The annual Davis Cup event is set to be moved to Abu Dhabi for five years, as announced by new owners Kosmos Tennis.
In 2018, The ITF and Kosmos Tennis, founded by Spanish footballer Gerard Pique, announced a $3 billion (£2.25 billion) partnership for 25 years of tournament staging. This lucrative deal led to the creation of a Finals that consisted of 18 teams and spelt the end of the traditional format of home and away ties.
The proposals for the move have been met with a mixed response with both France and Great Britain captains calling for further discussions involving players and captains.
"I understand that things had to change, and between the ITF and Kosmos they’re still trying to find what’s going to work best, but I think there’s got to be an open dialogue about what happens next in this and still trying to find a solution to make sure this remains one of the most important things in the calendar," said Great Britain captain Leon Smith.
“If you talk to any of the players or the captains who’ve experienced the atmosphere, the environment is so important. Whether that’s home, whether that’s away, it’s got to be full crowds, it’s got to be what’s best for the players and the schedules.”
French captain Sebastian Grosjean also stated his preference for a format that was similar to the previous editions, as it would allow for players to compete at home.
"I think it’s time to sit down with the authorities and the players to see how we can bring the Davis Cup back to the home-and-away format, to find a formula that will allow it to be integrated into the calendar and for the best players to come and play it,” said Grosjean.
This year’s Davis Cup runs from November 25 - December 5, 2021 and is being held across three separate European cities in Turin, Madrid and Innsbruck.