Davis Cup, the national team competition for men's tennis, underwent an overhaul for the 2019 edition. The traditional home vs away format in the World Group has been replaced with a Davis Cup Finals tournament to be contested in a single city. Moreover, the tie will be spread across as two singles and a doubles match to be played as best of 3 sets as against the traditional best of five format.
The players have been divided on the changes that have been brought about to the traditional team event. "Tennis is not always the easiest to make changes in and this is a big change," Britain's Andy Murray said. "I think there's some people that seem to be hoping it doesn't go well but I hope it goes really well and that it's a big success. The players and all of the fans need to try to give it a chance to see how it goes and I think we'll have a better idea after the tournament's finished."
Caja Magica in Madrid will host the Davis Cup Finals. AP
German world number seven Alexander Zverev has opted not to play, saying the new format is "not Davis Cup".
Even with Zverev staying out; Roger Federer's Switzerland and Dominic Thiem's Austria not qualifying, the week-long event has big names to show off. Rafael Nadal leads home hopes coupled with Serbia's Novak Djokovic and Murray.
All the continental matchups in the lower zone groups decide promotion or relegation. The nations that get promoted to the World Group go on to play the 18-team Davis Cup Finals divided into six round robin groups of three teams each.
What is the format for the Davis Cup Finals?
18 nations will take part in the Davis Cup Finals (previously known as the World Group). They can be further classified as: - 4 semi-finalists from 2018 - 2 wild cards - 12 winners of qualifiers in February
The round robin format will be played over four days and will be followed by quarterfinals (six winners and two best second placed teams), semifinals (victors from the quarters who automatically qualify for the 2020 Davis Cup finals) and final. Two teams with the worst record after round robin stage will be relegated to Zone Groups for Davis Cup 2020. Meanwhile, the 12 teams that finish in fifth to 18th position will move to the qualifiers next year.
Which countries are participating in the Davis Cup Finals?
France, Spain, Croatia and United States are the semi-finalists from 2018. Argentina and Great Britain received a wild card. Australia, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Germany, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Netherlands, Russia and Serbia came in through the qualifiers.
Each nation was required to submit a list of five players who would compete in the tournament. Some players, such as Russia's Daniil Medvedev, pulled out due to injury and have a replacement named.
Group A: France, Serbia, Japan
Group B: Croatia, Spain, Russia
Group C: Argentina, Germany, Chile
Group D: Belgium, Australia, Colombia
Group E: Great Britain, Kazakhstan, Netherlands
Group F: USA, Italy, Canada
What is the schedule for the Davis Cup finals?
The tournament gets underway on 18 November with an opening ceremony performance by Alan Walker. The on court action gets underway soon after at the Caja Magica in Madrid. The same venue hosts an ATP Masters 1000 event earlier in the year on clay. But the Davis Cup finals will be played on hard courts.
18 November: Croatia vs Russia, Italy vs Canada, Belgium vs Colombia
19 November: Argentina vs Chile, France vs Japan, Kazakhstan vs Netherlands (all day session), Spain vs Russia, USA vs Canada, Australia vs Colombia (all evening session)
20 November: Serbia vs Japan, Argentina vs Germany, Great Britain vs Netherlands (all day session), Croatia vs Spain, USA vs Italy, Belgium vs Australia (all evening session)
21 November: France vs Serbia, Germany vs Chile, Great Britain vs Kazakhstan. This will be followed by Quarterfinal in the evening session.
22 November: Three quarterfinals
23 November: Two semifinals
24 November: Final
The tournament decider will be preceded by a performance by Colombian artist Shakira.
Which players have been nominated to compete at the Davis Cup finals?
France: Gael Monfils, Benoit Paire, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Pierre-Hugues Herbert, Nicolas Mahut
Serbia: Novak Djokovic, Dusan Lajovic, Filip Krajinovic, Viktor Troicki, Janko Tipsarevic
Japan: Yoshihito Nishioka, Yasutaka Uchiyama, Ben McLachlan, Yuichi Sugita, Taro Daniel
Croatia: Borna Coric, Mate Pavic, Nikola Mektic, Ivan Dodig
Spain: Rafael Nadal, Roberto Bautista Agut, Feliciano Lopez, Marcel Granollers, Pablo Carreno Busta
Russia: Karen Khachanov, Andrey Rublev, Evgeny Donskoy
Argentina: Diego Schwartzman, Guido Pella, Leonardo Mayer, Horacio Zeballos
Germany: Jan-Lennard Struff, Philipp Kohlschreiber, Dominik Koepfer, Andreas Mies, Kevin Krawietz
Chile: Cristian Garin, Nicolas Jarry, Alejandro Tabilo, Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera, Hans Podlipnik Castillo
Belgium: David Goffin, Kimmer Coppejans, Sander Gille, Joran Vliegen, Steve Darcis
Australia: Alex de Minaur, Nick Kyrgios, John Millman, Jordan Thompson, John Peers
" Davis Cup by Rakuten Madrid Finals (@DavisCupFinals) November 17, 2019
Colombia: Robert Farah, Santiago Giraldo, Juan-Sebastian Cabal, Daniel Galan, Alejandro Gonzalez
Great Britain: Daniel Evans, Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Neal Skupski, Kyle Edmund
Kazakhstan: Alexander Bublik, Mikhail Kukushkin, Dmitry Popko, Aleksandr Nedovyesov, Andrey Golubev
Netherlands: Robin Haase, Tallon Griekspoor, Botic van de Zandschulp, Wesley Koolhof, Jean-Julien Rojer
USA: Frances Tiafoe, Jack Sock, Reilly Opelka, Taylor Fritz, Sam Querrey
Italy: Fabio Fognini, Matteo Berrettini, Andreas Seppi, Simone Bolelli, Lorenzo Sonego
Canada: Felix Auger-Aliassime, Denis Shapovalov, Vasek Pospisil