BY DAVID OWEN
La Liga has agreed to sponsor the Davis Cup, the reformatted men’s team tennis competition whose first new-look edition will culminate in November in the Spanish capital Madrid.
The four-year deal with Kosmos Tennis and the International Tennis Federation (ITF) will see the Spanish professional league football body promote the tournament – dubbed the ‘World Cup of Tennis’ – via international broadcasts in Europe, Asia, Africa, the United States and Latin America. The campaign will air throughout October.
According to David Haggerty, ITF President, the “innovative” cross-sport partnership will “widen our reach to not only tennis fans but other sports enthusiasts”.
For La Liga, Oscar Mayo, international business development director, said the fact that Spain – “our home market” – would “host the first two editions of the Davis Cup Finals and that other strategic markets for us are being considered to host future editions” were “key” in the decision to proceed.
Under the new format, 18 nations will compete in the finals, which are scheduled to take place between November 18 and 24 at the Caja Mágica in Madrid.
Qualification for these finals begins today (February 1), with 24 countries vying for 12 available slots. Qualification matches are due to take place in Brazil, Colombia, India, Australia, Germany and China, among other nations.
This will be the 108th edition of the Davis Cup in all and, while the new format has not been universally popular, it is expected to help provide an extra $25 million a year for global tennis development.