(Reuters) – Malaga in Spain will host the knockout stage of this year’s Davis Cup Finals in November on an indoor hard court, the International Tennis Federation said on Wednesday.
Malaga, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia, was earlier chosen as one of the four cities to host the group stage of the men’s team competition from Sept. 14-18 but will now host the knockouts for the 2022 and 2023 Finals.
The Finals will have 16 nations competing in four groups across Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and a fourth city — replacing Malaga — with each staging one group of four teams.
The top eight teams will then advance to the knockout stage, which will serve as the season-ending event on the men’s tennis calendar and will be held from Nov. 21-27 in Malaga.
Bids to replace Malaga as the host city for the group stage have to be submitted by April 21, the ITF and event owners Kosmos Tennis said.
The Russian team will not be able to defend their title after world governing body ITF suspended the memberships of Russia and Belarus and withdrew their entries from team competitions following the invasion of Ukraine.
The competition, which began in 1900, has undergone various changes in format, most recently in 2019 when home and away ties were replaced by a World Cup-style Finals held in Madrid.
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Christian Radnedge)