Davis Cup singles matches could be reduced from five to three sets ©Getty Images

Plans to reduce singles matches at the Davis Cup from five to three sets took another step forward after a package of reforms was approved by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) today.

The governing body's Executive Board gave their backing to a series of changes affecting both the Davis Cup - the premier men's team tournament - and the women's Fed Cup.

All of the changes had been proposed in March following a review by the ITF.

The proposals were suggested by the Davis Cup and Fed Cup Committees, with the changes now needing to be rubber-stamped at the ITF's Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam between August 1 and 4.

Reducing the number of sets is seen as a way to encourage the world's top players to compete in the Davis Cup.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic was the only participating player from the world’s top 10 to feature in February's World Group first-round ties, as major stars struggle with a congested schedule.

Davis Cup ties will still be played over three days, with the Saturday doubles rubber remaining at the best of five sets.

Future finals of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup could be held at neutral venues following a bidding process ©Getty Images
Future finals of the Davis Cup and Fed Cup could be held at neutral venues following a bidding process ©Getty Images

Other changes will see the finalists in both the Davis Cup and Fed Cup guaranteed a home first round tie the following year.

Hosting costs for national associations will be reduced, while the policy for "dead rubbers" - matches which can have no effect on the final outcome of the tie - will be reviewed. 

The ITF say they hope to reduce the number of dead rubbers played.

It has also been confirmed that bids to host future Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals have been received by the ITF, and are being assessed.

At present, one of the two teams playing hosts the final but this could now change to a neutral, stand-alone venue. 

Making changes to both competitions was cited as a key goal by ITF President David Haggerty, who was elected to replace Italy's Francesco Ricci Bitti in September 2015.

"Davis Cup and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas are two of the most iconic team competitions in sport, but there is no doubt change is needed to ensure that we maximise their full potential," the American said today.

"While still needing AGM approval, we are confident that our National Associations will see that to vote for these reforms is to vote for the long-term future of our competitions and our sport."