ITF launches revamped Fed Cup format
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has announced plans for a revamped Fed Cup, which will see 12 nations contest the Finals on Budapest's clay courts from next year.
As it stands, eight countries compete to be crowned Fed Cup champions, with Australia due to host France in November's decider after coming through quarter and semi-final ties.
The fresh format will see 16 sides enter the qualifiers, with half of those set to advance to the Finals, to be joined by this year's finalists as well as host nation Hungary and one wild card choice.
Those Finals will consist of four groups of three teams before semis and a final, while 12million US dollars of prize money will go to the players and a further 6m US dollars to the national associations.
The ITF confirmed the news on Thursday, with Budapest set to host the Finals for three years from 2020 to 2022.
16-team home-and-away Qualifiers— Fed Cup (@FedCup) June 27, 2019
Two 2019 finalists
One host nation
One wild card
20 nations will be chasing #FedCup glory in 2020
Find out more https://t.co/QHbff475gK#FedCupFinals#RoadtoBudapestpic.twitter.com/0xEh9CgKOb
"The launch of the Fed Cup Finals will create a festival of tennis that elevates this flagship women's team competition to a new level, yet remains loyal to the historic core of the Fed Cup," said ITF president David Haggerty.
"We have consulted and listened to stakeholders and worked with the WTA and its player council to make sure the new format represents the interests of the players.
"We pledged to our national associations during the 2018 AGM that we would introduce reforms that will grow the competition's global audience and enable greater investment into the future of the sport.
"We believe this bold new Fed Cup format delivers this pledge."