|Lleyton Hewitt. — Photo newsapi.com.au|Viet Nam News
SYDNEY — Australia will attempt to qualify for a revamped Davis Cup that they bitterly opposed against Bosnia and Herzegovina on hard courts in Adelaide in February, it was announced on Thursday.
Under a new format controversially adopted by the International Tennis Federation in association with an investment group headed by Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, the competition will now be decided at a week-long season-ending 18-team event.
It will be held in Madrid in November.
Six teams are already guaranteed a spot with Australia -- the second most successful Davis Cup nation behind the United States -- needing to qualify.
The new format will see them play the Bosnians in best of three-set matches -- as opposed to the previous five-set matches -- over February 1 and 2, with two singles played on the first day and a doubles and the reverse singles on the second.
"It will be fantastic to return to my home city and see Adelaide host this event in February," said captain Lleyton Hewitt, who previously slammed the new-look Davis Cup as a "money-grab" that would ruin the historic event.
He was among four generations of Australian Davis Cup captains and players, including Rod Laver and John Newcombe, who united this year to oppose the reforms.
The Davis Cup used to be structured around a 16-nation World Group, contested over four weekends during the year. The remaining countries were then divided into three regional zones.
The last time Adelaide hosted a Davis Cup tie was in 2004, with Australia beaten 4-1 by Sweden in a World Group first round tie, in which Hewitt played. — AFP