July 4th, 2019

Fed Cup Tennis Format Change Coming in 2020

Pro Tennis

In 2017 the U.S. won the Fed Cup, and in 2018 they were runners-up to the Czech Republic. This year the U.S. fell in the first round to Australia. If the young U.S. squad can rebound next year, it will be in a very different Fed Cup format.

Following the Davis Cup which was revised this year, the 2020 Fed Cup will debut a new format comprised of a six-day final tournament in April with 12 teams playing for $18 million.

The International Tennis Federation, the governing body of the international team competitions, announced the 2020 Fed Cup will be contested on clay in Budapest, Hungary.

This February the U.S. fell to Australia when Madison Keys went 1-1 in singles, Sofia Kenin lost her singles, and Danielle Collins won in singles to stretch the match to the deciding doubles. There Collins and doubles specialist Nicole Melichar for the U.S. fell to Ashleigh Barty, who went on to win the French Open this year, and doubles specialist Priscilla Hon of Australia 6-4, 7-5 in Asheville, N.C.

ITF President David Haggerty has been working hard over the last few years to revise the flagging Davis Cup and Fed Cup formats which have seen the top players on the ATP and WTA rankings regularly bypass the events.

“We have consulted and listened to stakeholders and worked with the WTA and its player council to make sure the new format represents the interests of the players,” Haggerty said.

The changes have been well-received by some players, and not-so-well-received by others.

“Good job on killing the competition just as they did with Davis Cup,” France’s Alize Cornet wrote on social media, “and nobody even bothered to ask the opinion of the players whatsoever.”

Qualifying matches for countries not automatically qualifying for the finals will be held in February 2020. The 12 teams in the final will be comprised of the 10 top-ranked teams on the ITF team rankings, one qualifying team, and Hungary receiving a wild card as the host team.

For more info go to www.FedCup.com.