Madrid will divide the workload with Turin and Innsbruck for the 2021 Davis Cup finals to be staged November 26-December 5.
Spanish organisers on Monday revealed their new-look innovation in hopes of bringing the century-plus-old international teams competition back into the tennis mainstream.
The event lost its way in 2019 with the elimination of the home-and-away concept, with Spain winning the only mini-edition played so far.
Officials went back to the drawing board after widespread criticism of the new format which squeezed the four-times-per-year tournament down to a week in the Spanish capital, with poor attendance and general lack of interest a toxic by-product.
With preliminary rounds now to be played in the northern Italian city of Turin and at alpine Innsbruck as well as Madrid, the format salvage plan could quell some fears of traditionalists.
“Both cities have submitted impressive offers that not only promise a world-class experience for players and fans , but also include strict measures to ensure the health and safety of all participants,” TD Albert Costa said in a statement.
“It was important to find two European cities well-connected to Madrid, with similar playing conditions , to provide a smooth transition for players from other sites.”
No information about allowing fans to attend was released, given the vagaries of the COVID-19 pandemic which wiped the Finals off of the 2020 calendar.
Austrian federation boss Magnus Brunner could barely contain his enthusiasm.
“This news is tantamount to a sensation. We will be able to present our fans with the finest world-class tennis in November.
“It’s going to be a major sporting event, comparable to the Football Euro 2008 in Austria.”
Venues and Groups
Madrid Arena, Madrid (ESP)
Group A: Spain, Russian Tennis Federation (RTF), Ecuador
Group B: Canada, Kazakhstan, Sweden
Quarter-finals: Winner Group A v group runner-up; Winner Group B v group runner-up
Semi-finals and final
Olympia-Halle, Innsbruck (AUT)
Group C: France, Great Britain, Czech Republic
Group F: Serbia, Germany, Austria
Quarter-final: Winner Group C v Winner Group F
Pala Alpitour Arena, Turin (ITA)
Group D: Croatia, Australia, Hungary
Group E: USA, Italy, Colombia
Quarter-final: Winner Group D v Winner Group E