Under-pressure Davis Cup cut to three-set rubbers

The Davis Cup has faced increasing calls for reform from players who have often scratched the tournament from their plans

Davis Cup matches will be played over three sets rather than the traditional five, the International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced Thursday, in an effort to halt the talent drain from the 117-year-old tournament.

Ties could also be played over two days instead of three, the ITF said after their board of directors met in Indian Wells where the ATP and WTA are staging the first Masters event of the season.

The Davis Cup has faced increasing calls for reform from players who have often scratched the tournament from their plans, claiming the schedule does not dovetail with their careers.

Only two of the world's top 15 men -- Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios -- elected to play in the World Group first round in February while the likes of Andy Murray, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal opted out.

"At their meeting, the ITF board of directors unanimously endorsed a package of comprehensive reforms for Davis Cup and Fed Cup," said an ITF statement.

"These include Davis Cup matches being played over three sets rather than five sets following a review of current match formats.

"Further discussions on the implementation of best-of-three-sets matches across either two or three days are continuing with all stakeholders."

All recommendations will be put to the ITF's annual general meeting to be held in August.