The ‘salad bowl’ trophy at the city’s Gibralfaro. / MARINA M. LUNA

Malaga scoops the Davis Cup tennis Finals in two-year deal

The premier international team event in men's tennis is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format

PEDRO LUIS ALONSO

Malaga will be in the spotlight for millions of tennis fans worldwide, for the next two years, after the city was announced as the host for the Finals, which includes the elimination rounds from the quarterfinals to the final, in 2022 and 2023.

The date in 2022 will be from 23 to 27 November although the 2023 calendar has not been announced yet. Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic will probably be among the top players competing, if Spain and Serbia, respectively, do not have problems overcoming the group stage.

The Department of Tourism and Sports of the Junta de Andalucía, with the support of the Diputación provincial authority and Malaga City Council, has reached a historic agreement with Kosmos, organiser of the Davis Cup by Rakuten to bring the premier international team event in men's tennis to Malaga. It is contested annually between will be held at the Martín Carpena sports arena, with a capacity for some 10,000 spectators.

Replacement city

Initially, Malaga was going to host the group stage, the previous stage, from 14 to 18 September, along with Bologna, Glasgow and Hamburg, but in the end, an even bigger role has been achieved for the capital of the Costa del Sol, which takes over from Madrid where the last two editions were held. The agreement means that Malaga will no longer host the group stage in September, and the replacement city will be announced on 26 April.

The head of Kosmos, the Barcelona footballer Gerard Piqué, was in Malaga a few weeks ago and met with the Junta's Ministry of Tourism and Sports, at which time good progress was made in the negotiations for Malaga to host the finals.

As a result Malaga, will host one of the most important sporting events ever organised in southern Spain. Seville has previously hosted the Davis Cup final in 2004 and 2011, but in a different format, with two countries in the final match, not like now, when the eight best teams will attend.

Russia expelled by ITF

Fifteen countries have qualified for the group stage. Together with Spain, they are France, Belgium, the United States, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Australia, Sweden, Kazakhstan, Argentina and South Korea, who passed the qualifiers, plus Great Britain and Serbia, with a direct pass, and Croatia. The 2021 winner, Russia, has been expelled by the ITF due to the invasion of Ukraine and will be replaced by Canada as the wild card to complete the 16 nations that will participate in the finals.

The group stage draw will take place in London on Tuesday 26 April, and will be broadcast live on the Davis Cup YouTube channel.

President of the ITF, David Haggerty, said, "Andalucía has played an important role in the history of the Davis Cup and Malaga is a perfect place for the climax of this year's men's tennis world cup."