DAVIS CUP TENNIS EXPERIENCE:
Original Tournament Name: International Lawn Tennis Challenge
Top Davis Cup Winners: United States, Australia, Great Britain, France
Davis Cup Notable Players: John McEnroe, Iva Lendi, Pete Sampras, Roger Federer
Recent Winners: Russia (2002), Australia (2003), Spain (2004), Croatia (2005), Russia (2006)
The Davis Cup is the most important men’s team tennis event in the world. The tournament was first played in 1900 between the United States and Great Britain. It was the brainchild of the Harvard tennis team and Dwight F. Davis, who commissioned the creation of the actual trophy, and would eventually lend his name to the tournament itself. The Davis Cup is now run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is comprised of more than 100 nations. Matches or ties are played in the home country of one or the other opponents drawn by lot. Spectators at the Davis Cup get the unique experience of watching some of the world’s brightest tennis stars represent their countries in a team environment.
The Davis Cup is primarily a knockout tournament where each participating country is assigned to a certain group based on geography. Teams strive to reach the top 16 of the tournament, known as the World Group. The rest of the teams belong to regional groups, and play to win and advance to higher group (ultimately the World Group) and risk being relegated to a lower group. The structure of the Davis Cup is in this way somewhat similar to many European soccer leagues, with relegation and promotion. But in the Davis Cup, all the excitement takes place over only four weekends a year. The 2006 Davis Cup winner was the Russian team. The US team includes such players as James Blake and Andy Roddick.
The Davis Cup provides fans with a truly one of a kind experience. Spectators can support their country’s team at matches at home, or follow them abroad and cheer on their heroes while experiencing new sights and sounds. With so many countries competing, the possibilities for travel are endless and the competition is always fierce.
Davis Cup Previews