- Nacho Atanes @nacho_atanes
- Sports Editor and Youth Player for OKDIARIO. Covering tennis information since 2016. Also covers basketball, football, cycling, and other sports.
The highly anticipated Davis Cup 2023 finals commence this Tuesday, but they will be marked by a significant absence – the Spanish team. Spain was eliminated in the group stage back in September, preventing them from hosting the finals in Malaga. Additionally, the tournament will be the first edition without its driving force, Gerard Piqué, who withdrew from the project earlier this year. Piqué’s departure has left a financial hole amounting to €36 million.
Although the ITF predicts that the economic impact of the Davis Cup finals in 2023 could surpass the €143 million generated in 2022, the reality is that the project’s financial viability has been in question even before Kosmos Tennis, a subsidiary of Kosmos Global Holding and the promoter of the new format, abruptly left. Chaired by Gerard Piqué, the business conglomerate failed to reach an agreement to reduce the annual fee, which amounted to €36 million in 2023. Consequently, they distanced themselves from a project that had already sparked controversy.
The departure of Kosmos and Piqué has left the Davis Cup, now in the hands of Barcelona-based company Tennium and the ITF, facing its most challenging phase yet. Not only were the return figures already negative, but in 2023, the finals will not even have Spain, the host country, among the participants.
The ITF, with the assistance of Tennium, is managing the Davis Cup 2023 edition, which will feature the presence of the world’s best player, Novak Djokovic, in an attempt to compensate for Spain’s absence. However, the absence of Kosmos and their investment commitment of €3 billion over 25 years, which aimed to revolutionize the format of this historic tournament, cannot be rectified. Twenty years later than planned, the departure of the driving force behind it all has left a void.
Kosmos and Piqué’s Financial Impact on the Davis Cup
The 2023 edition, however, will receive an economic cushion from the International Tennis Federation. Kosmos Global Holding, through its subsidiary Kosmos Tennis, was charged €25.4 million for terminating the license contract of the Davis Cup, as reported by the specialized portal 2Playbook. This payment caused losses amounting to €24 million for the holding company chaired by Gerard Piqué.
The group stage results of the Davis Cup 2023 saw a 16% decrease in fan attendance across the four venues – Valencia, Split, Bologna, and Manchester. Nevertheless, the ITF hopes to reverse this trend in Malaga, where the most anticipated match will be the elimination round between Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Great Britain’s Andy Murray, who is in the media spotlight.