Argentina and Britain have been awarded wild cards into the 2019 Davis Cup, the first to be played under a radically changed format, organisers announced Wednesday.
Under a format proposed by the Kosmos group, and adopted by the International Tennis Federation in August, the competition will bring together 18 nations in one place for a week at the end of the tennis season.
The four 2018 semi-finalists – France, Croatia, Spain and the United States – qualify directly. Twelve more places will be decided in qualifiers on Feb 1-2 next year.
That left two spots for wildcards selected by the organisers and they have chosen Argentina and Britain.
The choice was made by a committee of ITF president David Haggerty, one of his vice presidents Rene Stammbach, former Spanish tennis player Galo Blanco and Barcelona footballer Gerard Pique, who is president of Kosmos.
The ITF said in a press release that “both nations have a rich Davis Cup history and have enjoyed recent success in the competition”, Argentina in 2016 and Britain in 2015.
The qualifying matches in February, in the week after the end of the Australian Open, break with tradition in several ways. They have been cut from three days to two and each rubber will be decided over three sets, not five.
The draw was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.