The ITF announced plans for a 25-year, USD 3 billion partnership with investment group Kosmos that will transform Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and generate substantial revenues for global tennis development.
Gerard Piqué, the Spain and FC Barcelona football star, is the founder and President of Kosmos. The group is backed by Hiroshi Mikitani, the Chairman and CEO of Rakuten, the Tokyo-based e-commerce company.
The ITF Board of Directors unanimously endorsed a proposal to create a major new annual season-ending World Cup of Tennis Finals that will crown the Davis Cup champions.
Featuring 18 nations and played over one week in a world-class location in November, the event will be staged by Kosmos in partnership with the ITF.
Under the plans, the World Cup of Tennis Finals will be played over seven days in November in the traditional week of the Davis Cup Final. The Finals will feature a round-robin format followed by a quarterfinal knockout stage. Each tie will consist of two singles and one doubles over best-of-three sets. The 16 World Group nations will automatically qualify for the Finals, and a further two nations will be selected.
– This is a complete game-changer for the ITF and for tennis. Our vision is to create a major season-ending finale that will be a festival of tennis and entertainment, featuring the world’s greatest players representing their nations to decide the Davis Cup champions – ITF President David Haggerty said.
Several world-class cities have already expressed interest in hosting the new event, and the ITF and Kosmos will continue discussions with a view to launching the Finals in 2019.