September 27, 2018 / 7:47 AM / a month ago

Tennis: Madrid to host first two revamped Davis Cup finals

(Reuters) - Madrid has been selected to host the first two revamped Davis Cup finals in 2019 and 2020, the premier international men’s team event organisers announced on Thursday.

Tennis - Davis Cup Final - France vs Belgium - Stade Pierre Mauroy, Lille, France - November 26, 2017. General view of the trophy during the match between France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Belgium's David Goffin. REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

The revised week-long, 18-team finals are scheduled to be held at La Caja Magica, the current venue for the Madrid Open, in November 2019, while the following edition will be held at either the same location or the WiZink Center.

“We are delighted to be bringing the 2019 Davis Cup... finals to Madrid,” International Tennis Federation (ITF) President David Haggerty said in a statement.

“The city is a fitting location to stage the highest quality tennis... We look forward to working with the city to realise our ambitions of elevating the Davis Cup to a new level.”

The new format will see a group stage take place over the first four days, with the participating countries split into six groups of three.

Each tie consists of two singles and one doubles match over a best-of-three set format, with the six group winners and two best second-placed teams qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Teams who finish fifth to 16th in the group stages will participate in qualifiers the following year, while the teams who finish 17th and 18th will be relegated to their respective Zone Groups.

The announcement comes a day after Argentina and Britain were handed wild cards to compete in the 2019 finals.

Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien

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