Davis Cup organisers Magic Box in Madrid Piques fans’ interest

Sport

Davis Cup organisers Magic Box in Madrid Piques fans’ interest

The new format has diehards wondering whether the tournament’s uniquely partisan atmosphere has been lost

Martyn Herman

Eighteen nations will gather in Madrid’s La Caja Magica on Monday as the men’s tennis season culminates with a revamped Davis Cup format dreamt up by a man who earns his living playing soccer for Barcelona.

The week-long soccer World Cup-style Davis Cup Finals will be the biggest shake-up the 119-year-old team event has had yet and is being bankrolled by Barca defender Gerard Pique’s investment firm Kosmos to the tune of $3bn over 25 years.

It has not been smooth sailing for the International Tennis Federation (ITF) since it announced the radical revamp, with some accusing the organisation of selling the soul of a competition loved by tennis diehards, but which had slowly lost its lustre...

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