Published: Sat, September 29, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Argentina, GB picked as 2019 Davis Cup wild cards

Argentina, GB picked as 2019 Davis Cup wild cards

Great Britain and Argentina have been awarded wildcards for next year's revamped Davis Cup.

They will join 16 other teams in the finals of the worldwide tennis competition in November 2019, including 2018 semifinalists Croatia, France, Spain and the United States.

Under a format proposed by the Kosmos group, and adopted by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) in August, the competition will bring together 18 nations in one place for a week at the end of the tennis season.

· The one-week event will feature 18 teams: 12 qualifiers, the previous year's four semi-finalists, plus two wild card nations.

Twelve more places will be decided in qualifiers that take place on 1 and 2 February, 2019.

The lineup will be completed by the 12 winners from qualifiers being held in February.

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Madrid will host the first two finals of the newly-transformed Davis Cup.

The investment group Kosmos, which is led by footballer Gerard Pique, is promising to pump more than £90m into the Davis Cup and grassroots tennis and, therefore, needs the biggest stars and TV markets to be involved in November's week-long finals.

Argentina and Great Britain are replaced as seeded nations for the 2019 Qualifier Draw by Australia and Switzerland, who were the highest-ranked unseeded nations that lost in the 2018 World Group play-offs.

The committee is made up of Pique, former Spanish player Galo Blanco, ITF president David Haggerty and ITF vice president Rene Stammbach. The six group winners, plus the two second-placed teams (based on sets and games) will go through to the knock-out quarter, semi and final stages to determine the Davis Cup winners.

Ironically, the Lawn Tennis Association voted against the Davis Cup reforms, but GB still receives a wildcard along with Argentina.

The last of the finals to be staged under the traditional format will see France attempting to defend their crown against Croatia in Lille on November 23-25.

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