In approving sweeping changes to tennis's Davis Cup, the International Tennis Federation has consigned 118 years of tennis history to the scrap heap.

The ITF has announced the Davis Cup will be transformed into an 18 nation World Cup-style tournament at the end of the season, played in one neutral location over a week.

Matches will be reduced to best of three sets and home and away ties will largely be a thing of the past, apart from a week in February where preliminary matches will take place.

It's all about the money of course with a massive three billion US dollar injection from a Spanish Investment group over 25 years which ITF members clearly feel will see more dollars pumped into nation's coffers.


Some Davis Cup ties have produced the most extraordinary atmospheres you could ever hope to see at a sporting contest. There is something special and unique created by home and away ties. Home court advantage, patriotic and raucous fans are something seldom seen anywhere else on a tennis court, other than the odd Grand Slam match featuring a player from one of the host nations.

I remember covering the USA in Zimbabwe in 2000, Andre Agassi featuring for a US team captained by John McEnroe. The Atmosphere was extraordinary as the US came from 2-1 down to win 3-2 on the final day.

I acknowledge there needed to be some changes made to the Davis Cup. Many of the top players have elected to skip the competition in recent years, feeling the up to four weeks of home and away ties took too much of a toll on an already brutal season.

But tweaks were needed rather than radical change. Hold the Davis Cup every second year for starters. Reduce ties to best of three sets if you must. But for goodness sake don't hold an 18 team finals week at the end of the year in a neutral venue which will have zero atmosphere when players have checked out after the ATP world tour finals in mid-November.

And don't call it the Davis Cup, because that would be an insult to the players who have seen it as a pinnacle event in their tennis careers to try and win one of sport's oldest prizes for their country.

Dutch player Robin Haase couldn't have summed it up better with this tweet.