(Reuters) – The group stage of the 2022 Davis Cup Finals will be held in Bologna, Glasgow, Hamburg and Malaga in September, the International Tennis Federation said on Thursday.
The 2022 Finals will see 16 nations compete in groups based in each of the four cities. They will comprise 12 winning teams from the qualifiers plus Croatia, who get an automatic place as last year's finalists, and wild cards Serbia and Britain.
The Russians will not be able to defend their title after the governing International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspended the memberships of Russia and Belarus and withdrew their entries from team competitions following the invasion of Ukraine.
The ITF said the replacement wild card spot has been awarded to Canada, who lost 4-0 to the Netherlands in the qualifiers.
The draw for the group stage, which will be played from Sept. 14-18, is scheduled to be held in London on March 31.
The top two teams in each group will advance to the knockout stage, which will serve as the season-ending event on the men's tennis calendar from Nov. 23-27 in a fifth host city.
"We are very proud of how far the Davis Cup has come through its rich history," ITF President David Haggerty said.
"We are committed to the future success of the event, while retaining the traditional elements of what is the men's world cup of tennis.
"This includes its unique atmosphere and showcasing the event throughout the year at different cities across the world, bringing Davis Cup to more audiences."
The competition, which began in 1900, has undergone various changes in format, most recently in 2019 when home and away ties were replaced by a World Cup-style finals held in Madrid.