PARIS: Next year's Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals will be staged together in Geneva as part of sweeping changes to the team tournaments, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Wednesday.
A new combined season-ending event, the World Cup of Tennis finals, will be the highlight of a series of historic reforms aimed at transforming the annual national team competitions.
The Swiss city was selected by the ITF board from a shortlist of six candidates across three continents that included Copenhagen, Istanbul, Miami, Turin and Wuhan.
The new format is due to start in November 2018 and run for a three-year period as the ITF looks to get the sport's top players to commit to the tournaments on a regular basis in an already crammed tennis schedule.
"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," ITF president David Haggerty said in a statement.
"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."
The ITF hopes the introduction of a pre-selected finals venue will enable it to mirror the successful models used by the UEFA Champions League and the NFL's Super Bowl.
"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," added Hagerty.
"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."
Earlier this month, organisers revealed Davis Cup matches will be played on a best-of-three-sets basis instead of the traditional five, with the 'dead rubber' policy also to be amended to reduce the number of meaningless matches.
Other changes will see the finalists in both the Davis Cup and Fed Cup guaranteed the choice of hosting their first-round tie in the following year.
The reforms are expected to be approved at the next annual general meeting of the ITF in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam in August.