Format, teams, Kosmos, Gerard Piqué: 10 questions about the Davis Cup
From its humble beginnings in Boston, to the premiere team competition in men’s tennis, here is everything you need to know about the Davis Cup
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Who won the Davis Cup in 2021?
The 2021 Davis Cup was won by the Russian Tennis Federation. Daniil Medvedev and Andrey Rublev won their singles matches to secure a 2-0 win over Croatia in the final, securing the Russians their third Davis Cup title.
What is the Davis Cup?
The Davis Cup is the oldest and premiere team competition in men’s tennis, played annually, towards the end of the year.
Where and when were the 2021 Davis Cup Finals played?
The 2021 Davis Cup Finals, consisting of the top 18 nations, were held in four cities; in Madrid, Turin and Innsbruck from November 25 to December 5. The 18 teams were divided into six round-robin groups. The matches in Innsbruck were played behind closed doors, however, due to a lockdown amid rising Covid-19 cases in Austria.
What were the groups for the 2021 Davis Cup finals?
The 2021 Davis Cup finals were split into six groups of three. The six groups were as follows:
- Group A (Madrid): Spain, Russia, Ecuador,
- Group B (Madrid): Canada, Kazakhstan, Sweden
- Group C (Innsbruck): France, Great Britain, Czech Republic
- Group D (Turin): Croatia, Australia, Hungary
- Group E (Turin): United States, Italy, Colombia
- Group F (Innsbruck): Serbia, Germany, Austria
The winners of each group and the two best runner-ups qualified for the quarter-finals, which were played in the three cities (two in Madrid, one in Innsbruck and Turin). The Final Four – Russia against Germany and Croatia against Serbia, took place in Madrid.
When was the first Davis Cup played?
The first official Davis Cup match was held in 1900, between the United States and Great Britain. Initially called the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, it soon became known as the Davis Cup after Dwight Davis, the American player who came up with the idea. The first match was held at the now famous Longwood Cricket Club in Boston, Massachusetts in 1900 and was won by the Americans.
In 1905, Belgium, Austria, France, and Australasia – a joint Australia-New Zealand team, joined the Davis Cup. More countries were added in the following years, although until 1974, only the USA, Great Britain, France and Australasia/Australia had won the title.
Which country has won the Davis Cup on the most occasions?
The United States, with 32 wins, is the most successful team in Davis Cup history. After winning the first event in 1900, it won seven years in a row in the 1920s and its most recent win came in 2007. Australia dominated the Davis Cup in the 1950s and 1960s, with 15 wins in 18 years, is second with 28 Davis Cup titles, while France and Britain share third spot on 10.
What is the format of the Davis Cup?
The format of the Davis Cup has changed a number of times over the years. Beginning as a match between the USA and Britain, it was initially played as a Challenge Cup, with teams competing with each other to be able to challenge the holder. In 1972, it became a knockout event, with the defending champion also competing throughout. In 1981, a system of tiered groups were created, below the World Group, where the elite nations competed for the trophy.
In 2019, the Davis Cup changed to an 18-team event, held in one week at the end of the season. The new format was backed by footballer Gerard Piqué but proved controversial, with some more traditional nations opposing it. In 2021 it was expanded to 11 days and in 2022, the finals will become a 16-team event, with the two finalists from the previous year qualifying automatically for the Finals.
Matches were played over the best of five sets until 2019, when they were reduced to the best of three sets, to try to encourage more top players to commit to the event.
In 2022, the Finals will be played across five cities, with four cities staging the group stages of the Finals and then a neutral venue – reported to be Abu Dhabi – staging the knockout stages and the final itself.
Which player has recorded the most Davis Cup wins?
The Italian, Nicola Pietrangeli, holds the record for the most Davis Cup wins, with 120 victories in singles and doubles combined. He also holds the record for the most singles wins, at 78.
What is the longest match in Davis Cup history?
The longest match in Davis Cup history lasted six hours, 43 minutes between Leonardo Mayer of Argentina and Joao Souza of Brazil in a World Group first-round match in 2015. Mayer won the match (7-6, 7-6, 5-7, 5-7, 15-13), beating the previous record of six hours, 22 minutes between John McEnroe and Mats Wilander when the United States beat Sweden 3-2 in the quarter-finals in 1982.
Does the Davis Cup carry ranking points?
No, players do not receive ranking points for playing in the Davis Cup. Ranking points were awarded from 2009 to 2015.