World Cup of Tennis put on hold for at least a year
LONDON (AP) The International Tennis Federation is putting off its proposal for a World Cup of Tennis Finals for another year.
The ITF said last month it wanted to combine next year's Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals into one event to raise the profile of the two national team competitions. But on Thursday, the governing body said it would not put the motion to a vote at its annual general meeting next month in Vietnam.
Other proposals, such as reducing the men's matches to best-of-three sets and possibly skipping the final match of the series if it is already decided, will still go before member nations for ratification at the Aug. 4 meeting in Ho Chi Minh City.
''We promised change and are already delivering change with a significant series of reforms,'' ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement. ''Taking another year to build consensus around the World Cup of Tennis Finals will allow us to finalize an even stronger recommendation to the AGM.''
Last month, the ITF said it wanted to start staging the World Cup of Tennis in November 2018 in Geneva. The Swiss city was to host the event for three years at its 18,000-seat Palexpo.
The ITF said then that it had made the announcement of the host city well in advance in an effort to follow the successful model used by the Super Bowl and Champions League final.
But that has now been put on hold as the governing body tries to sell its idea to its voting members.
''This decision shows that we do not act unilaterally,'' Haggerty said, ''and are working with all our stakeholders to find the best solution for tennis.''
Haggerty also announced the creation of a World Cup of Tennis Finals task force. Board members Katrina Adams and Bernard Giudicelli have been appointed as co-chairs.
''The World Cup of Tennis Finals will unlock considerable new revenue for investing back into the sport through the ITF's member nations,'' Haggerty said. ''Investment in the development of the next generation remains the priority of the ITF and its national associations.''
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