With over a century of history under its belt, the Davis Cup is considered one of the oldest and most important tennis events on an international level, with over 125 different national teams competing, among which we can find some of the most important competitive countries: The United States, Great Britain, Belgium, Australia and of course Spain, which since the last decade has experienced a run of success making it one of the hardest teams to beat. There are many anecdotes and secrets hidden in the Davis Cup 2016, some of which we will now explore.
Since the very first tournament, play has been uninterrupted, with the exceptions of 1901, 1915-1919 and 1940-1945, due to economic difficulties and world wars halting not only this event, but other sporting events as well. During the first tournaments, the only participants were the United States and Britain, but by 1905 the doors had opened to France, Austria, Belgium and Australia ( New Zealand and Australia ), with Spain following in 1921, which to this day holds sixth place for having won the most titles in the competition; By 1993 around 100 nations had joined the list of participants.
Boston, London, Sydney, Melbourne, Paris, Santiago, Barcelona, Prague and Moscow are amongst the cities that have had the honour to host this event, while the United States, Britain and Australia naturally have the largest number of seats.
Great Rarities of The Davis Cup
Dwight Filley Davis would be the one to begin the tournament which bears his name, although it wasn’t his original intention; During the late nineteenth century, Davis and other fellow tennis players of the Harvard University proposed a British tennis tournament which would then take place in 1900 with the home team claiming victory, and from this event the International Lawn Tennis Challenge would be born with its official naming in 1945 after it’s creator. As surprising as it seems, Davis would cover the majority of the costs for the first tournament, even coating the trophy in silver, which is nicknamed the ‘salad bowl’ for its unique design and floral motifs.
Unlike other competitions, this reward always returns to the organizers of the competition before the next edition begins; One of the traditions of the event is undoubtedly the writing of the victors name on the trophy, which over a period of 100 years has caused countless hassles. A lack of space to write down the victors names in 1921 would provoke Dwight Davis to suggest adding a further 95cm in diameter to the trophy, something which would occur once again in 1934 lasting till 1969, and yet again in 2002 – It’s safe to say the Davis trophy is the only award which has increased in size over the years.
Spain – Dominating Sport Over The Years
The USA has won the cup no less than 32 times, with Spain placed 2nd place on four different occasions (1965, 1967, 2003 and 2012). Spain’s participation in the tennis world competition began in 1997, however it wouldn’t be until 2000 when Juan Carlos Ferrero triumphed over Australia in Palau Sant Jordi – One of the greatest sporting achievements in Spanish history.
The first victory would be in Barcelona followed by Sevilla in 2004, with Carlos Moya accompanying an 18 year old Rafa Nadal, achieving consecutive victories from 2008-2009 in Mar de Plata and Barcelona. 2011 would put Rafa Nadal against David Federer, the result being the fifth trophy going to the Spanish team, which are undeniably the prominent tennis leaders of the 21 century and the only team that has been able to maintain a solid national ITF ranking. It’s safe to say that even the smaller tournaments, clubs and summer tennis camps all contribute to finding the new stars of the sport.
In 2016, the format of the tournament may experience drastic changes; Some of the highest ranked players have prioritized ‘Grand Slams’ as a consequence of the poor organization of the Davis tournament; The ITF has proposed a ‘final hour’ a revolution which is backed by Djokovic, Federer and many other players. Whatever the case, this legendary tournament has nothing to envy at its Wimbledon, United States Open and Masters Cup counterparts.