Tennis is known to be an individual and professional sport and all the players play for their own benefit. But that is where Davis Cup is different, so let us know everything about Davis Cup.
Everything about Davis Cup
Davis Cup is the premier international tennis event for men where players play for their country and not for self. Davis Cup is organized and regulated by the International Tennis Federation or ITF. All the teams contest in the tournament annually throughout the year in a knock-out style format. The Davis Cup was founded by Dwight F Davis in the year 1990. Currently 16 teams are competing in the ‘World Group’ and total 130 teams take part in Davis Cup by playing in different groups. The United States of America have won the highest number of Davis Cup titles which is 32. The current Davis Cup champion is Czech Republic which is their 3rd title. The official website for the tournament is daviscup.com
Brief History about Davis Cup
Four members of the Harvard University challenged the British tennis players to have a tournament in the year 1899 and it was accepted the Davis Cup was born. Dwight F Davis was one of those four players who challenged the British and it was he who designed not only the format of the tournament, but also funded the trophy from his pocket by spending US$ 1000 at that time. The Davis Cup trophy was designed by William Durgin of New Hampshire and was crafted by Rowland Rhodes of England.
The first ever Davis Cup match was played at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston, Massachusetts in which USA stunned the British by winning first three games. Since then the domination over the Davis Cup has kept on changing. In 1905 Belgium, France, Austria and Australasia (Australia and New Zealand combined) were included to play the tournament. Australia dominated the tournament fully from 1950 to 1967 by winning it 15 times in those 18 years, but since 1970s the United States has a stamp of the authority as they have won the most number of tournaments, stands 32 at the moment.
Most Number of Davis Cup Wins
- The United States – 32
- Australia (including Australasia) – 28
- Great Britain – 9
- France – 9
- Sweden – 9
Format of Davis Cup
Top 16 national sides as per rankings given by the ITF play for the World Group, those nations who are not part of the World Group play in their regional zones and try to qualify for the world group next year. The current regional zones are Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe/Africa.
Some of the Interesting Facts about Davis Cup
After getting the knowledge about the Davis Cup, now its time to know some of the interesting facts about Davis Cup, a tournament which has a long history of over 114 years. Remember, Davis Cup is a team event which is played between the nations recognized by the ITF (International Tennis Federation) and no ATP rankings are involved.
Interesting Facts about Davis Cup
- Dwight F Davis, who initiated the first ever international tennis tournament bear the expenses of the tournament trophy when it was first played in the year 1900. The total expense was US$ 1000
- If we calculate the cost of the Davis Cup trophy today that it can be more than US$ 700, 000
- Total 217 ounces of silver is used in the trophy. It is 13 inches tall and it has a diameter of 18 inches. Rowland Rhodes is the designer of the trophy he was an English national.
- Each year the winner and the runners up team names get engraved on the plinth of the trophy. When one bowl is finished, another bowl is added to accommodate fresh winner’s name on the trophy, hence it is a never-ending process.
- Since its inception, the Davis Cup trophy has been presented 101 times till 2013.
- Davis Cup is the only team tournament in the world which has lasted a full century.
- Despite the game of tennis being more individual than a team game playing in Davis Cup and for that matter playing for your country has always been a matter of pride for the most of the tennis players around the world.
- From 1905 to 1914 Australia and New Zealand have sent a combined team to play in the Davis Cup as ‘Australasia’.
- The United States have won the most number of Davis Cup tournaments which is 32.
- Australia had the best winning streak from 1950 to 1967, during which they won 15 titles.
- In the year 1974 both South Africa and India reached the Davis Cup finals for the first time ever. They even became the first non American and Non Europe teams. But because South African government’s apartheid politics, India refused to compete and South Africa was declared winners by default. But since then South Africa has never reached in the finals of the Davis Cup.
- Davis Cup matches in Sweden have been stopped twice because of various political reasons. First in 1968 due to Rhodesia problem, then in 1975 because of human rights violation in Chile, as Chile was playing that tie. Recently in 2009 the match between Sweden and Israel was allowed to a small audience, citing security concerns occurred due to political unrest in Gaza a year earlier.
- The tie-breaker was included only in the year 1989. Prior to that there was no tie-breaker in any set. Now only fifth set doesn’t have a tie-breaker.