The 2016 Davis Cup
The Olympics might be over, but we can still look forward to the finals of the Davis Cup. The Davis Cup is an international tennis tournament where teams from across the world compete against one another to claim victory. This year, it’s sure to be a nail-biter with Andy Murray competing for Great Britain. The British team currently holds the title of world champion so they’ll be looking for a repeat performance this year. Of course, we think some of the other teams might have something to say about that.
A Brief History of The Davis Cup
The first Davis Cup was held in 1900 and was a match between Britain and America. We’re sure at that point they had no idea the tournament would grow into an international phenomenon. In 2016 over 130 countries took part in the knockout tournament. It is often described as the world cup of the tennis world.
It was created when four American tennis players from Harvard decided to challenge the British team to a match. The game was set, and a silver cup was created. The American team which included Dwight Davis won the first three matches, and the tournaments continued. Each year, more countries joined the tournament, eager to compete on the international field. The cup was once known as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge. Now, it’s simply referred to as the Davis Cup after one of the founders. Interestingly, Dwight Davis became one of America’s most famous politicians.
How The Tournament Works
The tournament includes sixteen of the world’s best tennis teams competing in what is known as the World Group. Other teams that are competing fall into other groups such as Americas or Europe/Africa.
While the sixteen world’s best play, other matches are held between countries in the lower groups. These matches are to decide the status of the other teams. Whether they will be promoted or relegated to a lower level.
The games are held on three weekends throughout the year in one of the competitor’s countries. Games are typical knockout rounds where each of the losers is eventually eliminated. The eight winning teams in the first round progress to compete in the quatres, the semis and the final. At this point, one of the teams will be crowned champion.
Tournament venues are selected carefully and work in the same way as a football match. If a team had a home advantage at one point in the tournament, the will also play what is essentially an away game. This keeps things fair.
Across the three-day weekends, there are five matches that may also be referred to as rubbers. The winner is the first team to claim victory in three rubbers. These rubbers are determined by best out of five sets, and the home team chooses the venue as well as the playing surface.
A True Team Sport
Despite some country’s reliance on key athletes, you can’t win with one good player. It is a team sport. Although it does help to have a strong leader, the players have to work in unison. They must all perform to the best of their ability to have a chance at staying in the tournament.
2016 Davis Cup Challenges And Predictions
In 2016, the Davis Cup seems to suggest history might repeat itself. Great Britain seems poised to win the title of World Champion again this year. They beat Serbia 3-2, earning their place in the semi-finals. Meanwhile, France will face off against Croatia as they hope to steal victory from the Brits. Who will come out on top?
Since Andy Murray has been called back into action, we think the Brits might have it in the bag. Fresh from winning Wimbledon earlier in the year, Murray also played a crucial part in securing victory in the 2015 tournament. It was their first win in the tournament since 1936. The hunger to continue their winning streak might just be enough to give them the advantage. Having a Wimbledon champion on the team will certainly help too!
One thing is certain. The final, held at the end of the November is something all tennis fans should be looking forward to as we find out who will bring home that stunning Trophy. For now, though, we can look forward to the semi-finals, taking place in just a couple of days. Who will we be watching in the final? Our final prediction is that Britain and France will come out on top going head to head for the championship. Britain were able to soar past France last year on the road to victory, 3-1 at Queens Club. We’ll see whether they can repeat the trick, in two months.