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Fed Cup to undergo reform in 2019, says French tennis chief
[AIX-EN-PROVENCE, France] The Fed Cup is likely to face radical reforms for 2019, echoing controversial plans to expand the Davis Cup, it was revealed on Sunday.
"There will be reform of the Fed Cup next year," said Bernard Giudicelli, the president of the French Tennis Federation on the sidelines of the semi-final between France and the United States.
"The reform is on the way and the project will probably be rubber-stamped at Roland Garros (May 27-June 10) and submitted to the International Tennis Federation General Assembly (in August)," added Giudicelli, who is also a member of the ITF board which runs both the Davis and Fed Cup tournaments.
Without elaborating on the plans, the FFT chief explained that "the purpose of the reform is to favour more teams in the World Group." At the moment, only eight countries play in the elite World Group.
Giudicelli, however, refused to confirm that the idea is to have 16 in the future and bring the women's event in line with the current format of the Davis Cup men's tournament.
"There will be more teams," was all Giudicelli would add.
Plans to reform the 118-year-old Davis Cup, which would see the tournament played in one week in November on neutral ground instead of consuming four separate weekends, have split the sport.
The new-look event would also mean the end of home and away ties, be rebranded as a season-ending World Cup of Tennis Finals and feature 18 nations.
The Kosmos investment fund, founded by Spanish footballer Gerard Pique and which is planning to invest US$3 billion over 25 years in the new-look Davis Cup, is also interested in the Fed Cup.
"Investors have shown interest in the Fed Cup. I think they have shown an interest in supporting the international federation and giving it the means to organise competitions that have a real impact," added Giudicelli.