As the world continues to reel under the coronavirus pandemic, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) on Friday postponed Davis Cup Finals until November 2021.
ITF said the decision to postpone the event comes following a three-month review of the "considerable logistical and regulatory challenges" that have arisen as a result of the pandemic and all potential hosting scenarios with the health and safety of all involved of paramount importance.
"The Davis Cup Finals are the pinnacle of the largest men's global team competition in tennis and were set to see the world's best 18 national teams competing for the Davis Cup world championship title over one week in Madrid from 23 to 29 November 2020," the statement read.
The event was due to host more than 90 athletes with significant support teams, as well as thousands of fans, officials, staff, partners and other stakeholders travelling from countries across the world, each at a different stage in dealing with the pandemic.
The 18 teams which have already qualified for this year's Finals will compete at the rescheduled Finals in 2021, with the draw for the Finals remaining as published.
David Haggerty, ITF President, said this was a 'tough decision' they had to make keeping in mind the health and safety of all involved.
"This is a tough decision to have to make, but delivering an international team event on this scale while guaranteeing the health and safety of all involved ultimately poses too great a risk. It is a complex undertaking and we have made the decision now to provide certainty for players, National Associations and fans. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Kosmos Tennis in order to deliver a fantastic competition next year," Haggerty said in a statement.
In addition, the ITF Board has announced that the 24 home-and-away World Group I and World Group II ties involving 48 national teams due to be played in September this year will be postponed until 2021, with ties to be played in either March or September. The 2020 regional Group III and IV events, in which 76 national teams are entered, are also postponed until 2021. The ITF will work with the hosts of these ties and events in order to ensure a safe environment in which they can be played next year.