London: The Fed Cup’s existing format will be scrapped next year when a 12-nation finals week will be staged in Budapest in April, the International Tennis Federation confirmed on Thursday.
The move follows a revamp of the men’s Davis Cup, which will culminate in an 18-nation event in Madrid in November.
At a news conference held at Queen’s Club it was confirmed that Budapest’s Laszlo Papp Sports Arena would host the women’s team event until 2022.
There will be an $18 million prize fund for the Finals with $12 million for players and the rest for national associations, the ITF said.
Four nations, this year’s finalists France and Australia, hosts Hungary and one wild card, will be exempted through to the finals with the other eight coming through play-offs in February.
ITF president David Haggerty said it would create a “festival of tennis”.
The move is likely to divide opinion, as the Davis Cup changes did, with former world No. 1 Simona Halep saying this week that she would not be interested in playing if the “home and away” ties were scrapped.