The backers of a new tennis competition hope players such as Serena Williams will play in the World Cup.
While John McEnroe was talking about Serena Williams with some nonsense about Serena Williams not doing well playing against men, the International Tennis Federation decided to reveal a world cup tournament, joining soccer and hockey in presenting a sports world cup action competition. There will be a joint Davis Cup and Fed Cup tournament in an end of year competition that would start in Geneva, Switzerland in November 2018. The plan still needs full approval from the entire ITF membership and it is expected to happen in August at a meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam. The proposed World Cup will be a three-year experiment to see if it is workable.
The new tournament is not going to replace any of the major champions, the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon or the US Open but it will be a bigger platform than the Summer Olympics. The ITF didn’t just select Geneva, Switzerland either by putting a map on the wall and throwing a dart against it to find a city. The ITF did it the way sports owners find venues. They put a notion out to bid. Miami wanted it as did Istanbul, Turkey, Copenhagen, Denmark, Wuhan, China, and Turin, Italy. Initially about 20 cities had interest in the proposed tournament. Geneva has an 18,000-seat stadium which has hosted both Davis and Fed Cup matches. There are no real financial details yet but everything is geared to getting money from TV and corporate support. No word yet if there is Swiss government is proving money support. The ITF President David Haggerty confirmed that. “By providing Geneva with a full year to organize and promote the event, it will be able to fully maximize the competition’s potential, elevating venue and hosting standards to a consistent grand slam level and delivering the very best athlete and fan experience.” Fan experience usually means digging deeper into a fan’s pocket for money.
Tennis officials hope the World Cup will be a big event.