Despite the early cancellation of this year’s edition of the new look Davis Cup finals scheduled for Madrid in November, the ITF has gone to great lengths to insist that there will be no negative impact on the event when it returns in 2021.
French Sports Daily L’Equipe reported that the events’ new rights holder Kosmos, fronted by former Barcelona FC soccer star Gerard Pique, lost millions of euros on the inaugural event last year, despite being won by hosts Spain, and that calling off this year’s event would save them around €18 million.
Whilst the governing bodies of tennis have agreed to resume the current season on August 14, the ITF decided to give up on this year’s event though it was scheduled to take place several months ahead in November.
The ITF added that their organization has already switched its focus to staging next year’s event and believes that cancellation in the light of the still rampant coronavirus pandemic and not putting anyone in danger was the right call to make.
“The ITF and Kosmos Tennis undertook extensive scenario planning, exploring feasible options to host the event safely. We strongly believe this is the right decision for the players and captains, the National Associations, the event organisers and the competition as a whole”
“Postponing the Davis Cup Finals was an extremely difficult decision”
“Delivering an international team event on this scale while guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved was ultimately not feasible at this time given the risks, restrictions, logistical challenges and continuing uncertainty caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic,” the ITF stressed.
“We looked at alternative scenarios, including playing behind closed doors, and selling only a limited number of tickets – but ultimately, they did not (a) fully enable the unique atmosphere that makes Davis Cup great and (b) make good commercial sense.
The important thing to note is that the event is financially covered and all stakeholders are already working towards the 2021 edition”
After the changes to the Davis Cup format were first announced, a number of players and tennis figures spoke against the new format and weren’t for the Davis Cup Finals. But some players have changed their views since and the ITF remains optimistic the new format will be a success”