(Reuters) – Davis Cup singles matches will continue to be decided over the best-of-five sets after a proposal to shorten the contests failed to achieve the required mandate, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) said on Friday.
The governing body’s board of directors had unanimously backed reforms for both the men’s Davis Cup and women’s Fed Cup, which included a recommendation to play matches in the men’s event as the best of three sets.
However, the change was not approved at the ITF’s annual general meeting in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City as the motion received 63.54 percent support from member nations, falling just short of the two-thirds majority needed to be passed.
“We respect the decision of the AGM but are disappointed that our member nations have not approved the full package of Davis Cup and Fed Cup reforms endorsed by the ITF Board,” ITF president David Haggerty said in a statement.
“Change is needed to ensure the long-term future of these iconic and historic competitions, and we remain committed to working with our national associations and other stakeholders on finding ways to enhance Davis Cup and Fed Cup.”
The AGM, however, approved a motion guaranteeing the finalists in both cup events the choice of hosting their first-round ties the following year.
Match court availability and practice court requirements will also be lower to reduce hosting costs for national associations, the AGM approved.
The members also passed a motion to reduce Davis Cup pre-tie commitments for players to a single function combining the draw, post-draw press conferences and interviews, and an official lunch.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien)