|Event||Davis Cup Finals 2019
|Start Date||18 November 2019|
|Start Time||24 November 2019|
|Live Stream||Watch Here|
Davis Cup Finals 2019 Nations
What is the Davis Cup?
Davis Cup format
New Davis Cup format
Davis Cup history
Starting off as a competition between the USA and Great Britain all the way back in 1900, the Davis Cup has transformed into the biggest annual international team competition in global sport, with a total of 132 nations taking part in the 2018 edition.
The Davis Cup concept was first established by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, who were eager to create a match between the USA and Great Britain, who were then playing under the name of the British Isles. The two national organisations agreed and the idea was brought to reality, with one of the four players from Harvard – Dwight Davis – designing the format and trophy, buying the silverware with his own money. The tournament was originally named the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, but it soon became known as the Davis Cup after Dwight Davis’s trophy, which was designed by William Durgin and Rowland Rhodes. USA beat the British Isles 3-0 at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston and have since gone onto dominate the Davis Cup over the course of the next 118 years, winning a record 32 titles.
France, Austria, Belgium and Australasia (comprised of players from Australia and New Zealand) joined the Davis Cup in 1905 as the competition expanded for the first time, and by 1920, there will over 20 nations competing all over the world. USA, Great Britain and Australasia maintained a stranglehold on the Davis Cup in the early years, but their period of dominance was halted by France in 1927, who went on to win the title for the next six consecutive years – an achievement only bettered by USA from 1920-26. USA, Great Britain and Australia would go on to take control of the competition again from the 1930s – and it wasn’t until the 1970s that any other country would take home the trophy as South Africa, Sweden and Italy won their first titles in 1974, 1975 and 1976 respectively.
It was in 1969 – a year after the start of the Open Era in tennis – that the Davis Cup underwent a significant change of format and major expansion. The Challenge Round was scrapped, which meant that the reigning champion would have to play in every round, instead of gaining a bye straight into the final the following year, while 50 nations were now competing in the Davis Cup as the competition swiftly grew in popularity around the world, with Czechoslovakia joining the first-time winners honours roll in 1980.
The current World Group format of 16 teams was introduced into the Davis Cup in 1981, with the remaining teams split into regional Zone Groups with promotion and relegation from each zone brought into play. This was also the first year that the Davis Cup gained sponsorship, agreeing to a commercial partnership with NEC, which allowed prize money to be awarded for the first time – giving further incentive for top players to take part. Sweden and Germany would join the likes of Australia, USA and France as dominant forces and combine for seven of the next 15 Davis Cups, while Spain would emerge as a powerhouse of the 00s, winning the title five times and finishing runner-up on two more occasions.
The Davis Cup would welcome 100 nations for the first time in 1993, while BNP Paribas took over as the competition’s sponsor in 2002 – a partnership that remains to this day. Czech Republic won the competition’s 100th final in 2012, beating Spain 3-2 in a dramatic final, while Switzerland and Argentina would go on to win their first Davis Cups in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Great Britain (2015) and France (2017) also returned to the winners circle after long droughts.
Davis Cup statistics
Davis Cup winners
Most successful Davis Cup nations
|Nation||Number of titles||Last title||Number of finals||Last final|
Greatest Davis Cup players
Italian legend Nicola Pietrangeli holds the record for the most wins in both singles and doubles, playing 164 rubbers for Italy in a total of 66 ties. He has a win-loss record of 120-44, winning 78 singles matches and 42 doubles encounters, while he also forms half of the most successful Davis Cup doubles partnership with Orlando Sirola, with the pair winning 34 of their 42 doubles rubbers for Italy.
Ilie Nasatase of Romania isn’t far behind with 109 total match wins, followed by Omar Alawadhi (94, UAE), Manuel Santana (92, Spain) and Leander Paes (90, India). The unheralded Deomenico Vinci of minnows San Marino holds the honour of playing the most Davis Cup ties (93). Tut Bartzen of the USA boasts the leading unbeaten Davis Cup record of 15-0 in singles, achieved between 1952 and 1961, while Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis holds the record for most consecutive wins with 36. Rafael Nadal is currently on a 22-match winning streak and is fourth all time behind Baghdatis, Bjorn Borg (33) and Boris Becker (22), while Andy Murray (GBR) and Marcelo Rios (Chile) each compiled 19-match winning streaks in singles.