By Chris Oddo | @TheFanChild | Friday January 13, 2022
The ITF and Kosmos have terminated their 25-year, $3 billion deal after five years.
“The ITF can confirm that its partnership with Kosmos Tennis for Davis Cup is ending,” the federation said in a statement. “The ITF has ensured financial contingencies are in place and as the custodian of the competition we will operate the 2023 Qualifiers and Finals as scheduled, with the Final 8 taking place in Malaga, Spain, this November.”
Kosmos, the agency founded by footballer Gerard Pique, made significant changes to the format of the Davis Cup, and had also pledged further money for the development of the sport on a global scale.
When reports emerged on Friday that the two parties severed ties due to the fact that Kosmos was unable to pay the eight teams that participated in this year’s Davis Cup finals, the agency released an email stating that it wasn’t the case.
Info L’Equipe : Kosmos n’aurait pas été en mesure de payer les joueurs des huit équipes présentes à Malaga en novembre dernier lors de la phase à élimination directe de la Coupe Davis. C’est donc à l’ITF de s’en acquitter.https://t.co/IntvfgSaKT
— Quentin Moynet (@QuentinMoynet) January 13, 2023
“In response to ITF’s public statement yesterday, it appears that Kosmos and ITF were unable to reach an agreement to renegotiate the business model, as well as the current and future fee requested by the ITF,” the statement read. “This fee, which was significantly reduced during the pandemic, has varied over the years of collaboration and was recently raised again. Kosmos has paid in full the 2022 fee. Prize money shall be paid in due time when requirements from nations are met.
“Kosmos continues to be closely linked to the professional tennis world through Kosmos Management, which recently added tennis players Borna Ćorić, Elina Svitólina and Andréi Rublev to its roster of represented athletes.”
The reasons for the split may be up for debate, depending on which party one asks, but the fact remains: The ITF is on its own with the floundering event, which has lost some of its shine after a format change and the removal of home and away ties in the later rounds in 2019.
The new format has been met with much criticism, but to be fair, the old format was under fire for several years due to the fact that it was unable to consistently attract the sports’ biggest stars.