Davis Cup: The contract between the International Tennis Federation and Kosmos broken

It is the end of a recession that has lasted since August 2018, and the radical reform of the Davis Cup was voted by 71% of the General Assembly of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in Orlando (Florida). The contract which committed (for 25 years) the ITF to the Kosmos group of Gérard Piqué has been broken. It is not yet known who is the cause of this separation.

Since 2018, several formulas had been tested for the competition, but none had given satisfaction, plunging the centuries-old event into anonymity. A priori, which was established in 2023, with a final phase in particular, in Malaga (November 21-26), would remain as it is. But a blur surrounds the rest of the operations.

In a ridiculous press release sent to the various confederations, Dave Haggerty, the president of the ITF, congratulates himself on the enormous success of the event for four years (more money for the nations, for the players, more participation of the best, growing interest of fans, etc.) … before you write blandly that the contract with Kosmos has been broken!

“Kosmos was fired because, as many experts predicted four years ago, they were losing a lot of money”

A source familiar with the matter

No reason is given to explain this cancellation. Symbolic of the vagueness that enveloped the collaboration of the two parties from the start. “Even the Davis Cup committee does not have the informationsays Gilles Moretton, the president of the French Federation. Its members do not know the reasons for the breakup. And no more who is the cause of the separation. Is it because Kosmos didn’t pay? We ignore it. But that’s how it’s been from the beginning. In this story we had no transparency. I asked to see the Kosmos contract and they wouldn’t give it to me. In November, in Glasgow, I even asked a member of the Davis Cup committee, the Egyptian Ismail El Shafei, and he knew no more. No one knows about the contracts except Haggerty. »

Since 2018, the new model of the Davis Cup, transformed into the World Cup of Nations, has fished at all levels. The meetings, which were mainly organized on neutral ground, did not arouse any popular fervor, and rumors reported large financial losses, which were counted in tens of millions of euros. A few months ago, Kosmos would have asked the ITF for a deadline to pay the 6 M€ he owed him.

“Kosmos was fired because, as many experts predicted four years ago, they lost a lot of money and were unable to pay what they promised.explains a source familiar with the matter. Now the important thing is not that all this ended in disaster, but to know on what basis we will start again. It seems to me that what made the Davis Cup truly unique was its alternating home/away format. »

The future format of that event

It is the ITF that will manage the organization of the event in 2023. For the rest, it is urgent to wait. “I am happy about this break with Kosmosconcludes Moretton. I was already against this reform even before I was elected president. I believe that the Grand Slams should be placed on the Davis Cup. We are working to unite the four Grand Slams, which are the cornerstones of the game, and the Davis Cup is part of our heritage. After that, the format is a different story… We all have to think about the future of the competition. »

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