The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






Davis Cup

The Davis Cup is the international team event in men's tennis. The largest annual team competition in sport, the Davis Cup is run by the International Tennis Federation and is contested between teams of players from the competing countries in a knock-out format. The women's equivalent of the Davis Cup is the Fed Cup (known as the Federation Cup before 1995).

Each round consists of 5 matches (known as a rubber or a tie) between two countries. The first two matches are singles, the third is a doubles match, and in the last two matches (the reverse singles) the first contestants play again, but swap opponents from the earlier matches. There is no restriction on who may play the doubles match: the two singles players, two other players (usually doubles specialists) or a combination. If one team has already clinched the rubber, either team may change the players it uses in the reverse singles, with the only restrictions being that the players involved be on the original team roster and the matchups from the first singles matches cannot be repeated.

All rubbers are normally best-of-5 sets. If a team has clinched the rubber before all 5 matches are played, any remaining reverse singles matches are shortened to best-of-3 sets.

The tournament was conceived in 1899 by four members of the Harvard University tennis team who came up with the idea of challenging the British to a tennis showdown. Once the idea received the go ahead from the respective lawn tennis associations, one of the four Harvard players, Dwight Filley Davis , designed a tournament format and spent the money from his own pocket to purchase an appropriate sterling silver trophy.

The first match, between the United States and Great Britain was held in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1900. The American team, of which Dwight Davis was a part, surprised the British by winning the first three matches. The following year the two countries did not compete but the US won the next match in 1902. By 1905 the tournament expanded to include Belgium, Austria, France, and Australasia, a combined team from Australia and New Zealand that competed together until 1924.

These tournaments were only officially called the Davis Cup following the death of Dwight Davis in 1945. From 1950 to 1967, Australia dominated the competition, winning the Cup 15 times in 18 years. Since inception, the U.S.A. has won the event the most times (31), followed by Australia (23), France and Great Britain (9 each), Sweden (7), and Australasia (5).

On the 100th anniversary of the tournament's founding, 129 nations competed for the Davis Cup.

Davis Cup winners:

See also

External link

  • Official Davis Cup website

Last updated: 02-07-2005 02:02:38
Last updated: 04-29-2005 16:21:04