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Radical Changes to Davis Cup Will Be Up for Vote This Week

Radical Changes to Davis Cup Will Be Up for Vote This Week


The lack of clear player support makes the Davis Cup overhaul even more of a gamble, although Haggerty said existing sponsors are demanding change.

“There are players who are supportive,” he said, citing Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. “And I think that once this is approved, I think that’s when we will see more.”

Haggerty, a former tennis industry executive and president of the U.S.T.A., has made miscalculations in his first term at the I.T.F. by pushing format changes that failed to materialize, like a combined final for the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, the annual team competition for women. Tensions within the I.T.F. also have increased with some expressing concern that Haggerty, who will be up for re-election next year, has acted too independently.

More recently, he has drawn criticism for his treatment of Bernard Giudicelli, the French Tennis Federation president, who was found guilty of defamation in September last year in France, receiving a fine but no jail sentence.

Giudicelli is a member of the I.T.F. board of directors and chairman of its Davis Cup committee. Though defamation is a civil offense in many nations, it is a criminal offense in France, and as such, should have meant Giudicelli’s removal from the board, according to the I.T.F. constitution.

Instead, he continued to serve in his post and has become a valuable ally to Haggerty with his support of the Kosmos deal, after initially being resistant to major changes. Haggerty said that since mid-July, Giudicelli has no longer exercised the rights of a board member, including voting rights.

The board has proposed an amendment to the constitution, which will be considered in Orlando, that would force board members out only if their offense would constitute a “criminal offense in the majority of jurisdictions in which the sport is played” and if there is a “custodial sentence” or the board feels the member’s continued presence would bring “the I.T.F. into disrepute.”



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