NEW DELHI, Sept 8: In yet another modification in the Davis Cup format, the world governing body ITF has abolished the Group I and II at the regional level competition, making India�s road to the Qualifiers even tougher.
From 2020, the Indian team will have to contend with superior European, South and North American nations in order to qualify.
As of now, there are four Groups � I, II, III, IV � in each of the three zones which are Americas, Asia/Oceania, and European/Africa.
As per the new format, Group I and II will not be there from 2020 onwards and instead a 24-team World Group I and a 24-team World Group II will be formed.
�It�s interesting but obviously, it will be tougher for us. We were always dominant in Asia. The format needed a change so they did it but from India�s perspective, every match will be tough,� India�s non-playing captain Mahesh Bhupathi told PTI, reacting to the development.
The 12 losing nations from the Qualifiers in March next year along with 12 winners from the newly-introduced World Group I Play-offs, will form the World Group I. The 12 losers from World Group I Play-offs and 12 winners of World Group II Play-offs will form the World Group II.
The Play-offs will be held alongside the Qualifiers in March 2020 and it continues to be home and away format in two-day ties.
�The expanded structure, which follows extensive consultation with National Associations, will ensure more nations are able to compete on a worldwide basis, with more opportunities for home-and-away ties against a wider variety of opponents,� the ITF said in a statement. � PTI