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OFFICIAL: Fed Cup changes format from 2020 tournament

OFFICIAL: Fed Cup changes format from 2020 tournament

The 12 strongest teams will attend the prestigious women's tennis team finals in Budapest, Hungary next April.

The top 20 national teams will have a chance to win at the new Fed Cup in 2020. These 16 are divided into eight match categories in February 2020. Eight winners will attend the finals with four other teams, including hosts Hungary, France, Australia - the two countries finalists in 2019, and a guest team.

The total prize money of the tournament in 2020 is US $18 million, the largest ever in the Fed Cup history. In particular, US $12 million belongs to players and the remaining six million are transferred to the Tennis League of the participating countries. The champion team received $3.2 million, of which the Federation received $1.2 million.

Fed Cup changes follow the Davis Cup reform model - men's team tennis tournament - applied from 2019. The 18 strongest teams are divided into six Davis Cup tables in 2019, picking the six best teams with two teams Second place has the best performance to play knockout. The champion team receives US $20 million.

Like the male award, the women's team received many conflicting opinions before the innovation. World number seven Simona Halep even stated not to attend the new Fed Cup version.

"The old format, playing home or away, is the best” the Romanian player shared. "If you play on home turf, you must avoid the table. In the guest field, you must control your emotions and endure the pressure. And I loved it. If the Fed Cup changes, I will no longer play this tournament”.

The legendary Bille Jean King thinks otherwise. "Don't just think for yourself," the former eight-time Fed Cup winner told the BBC. "You want 5,000 people to follow you, or 23,000 people? What is better for this sport? I have no doubt that the new format will be more successful than the current one".

The 12 strongest teams will be divided into four groups at the Fed Cup 2020. The top four teams in the semi-finals. The two finalists will automatically have the next year's final round. National matches at the Fed Cup 2020 will include two singles and a double battle.

16 teams participating in the Fed Cup 2020 qualifiers include: Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Germany, England, Japan, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland and the United States.