YEARBOOK

Davis Cup

In 1900, Dwight Filley Davis of St. Louis, Mo., then a 21-year-old recent graduate of Harvard College and a leading American player, put into competition the International Lawn Tennis Challenge Trophy. He envisioned a yearly tournament that would advance friendship and goodwill internationally among sportsmen who visited one another’s countries for matches.
 
The success of his idea was almost immediate, and the sterling silver bowl became known simply as the Davis Cup. More than 100 nations have appeared in the competition but only 13 have won: the United States (32 times), Australia (28), Great Britain (9), France (9), Sweden (7), Spain (5), Germany (3), Russia (2), South Africa (1), Italy (1), Czechoslovakia (1), Croatia (1) and Serbia (1). Initially, the champion stood out, meaning that the victor of one year defended the Cup the following year—in the grand final called the Challenge Round—against the nation that won its way through an elimination tournament involving four zones: European Zones A and B, American Zone and Eastern Zone. A challenging nation usually had to win five or six matches to reach the Challenge Round. However, in 1972 the Challenge Round was eliminated, replaced by the Final and a new system whereby the champion nation must play through the draw. Nine nations, besides the 12 winners, have qualified for the Challenge Round and/or Final: Argentina, Belgium, Chile, India, Japan, Mexico, Romania, Switzerland and the Slovak Republic.
 
In the first three years of Davis Cup (1900-1903), only two countries entered, the United States and Britain, and only the Challenge Round was played. In 1904, Belgium, France and Britain entered, and it was necessary for Belgium and France to play the first preliminary match to determine a challenger for Britain. By 1905, when the United States returned to the competition after a year’s absence, it was necessary to play more preliminary rounds, as it would be henceforth as the competition grew. By 1923, the number of entries had increased so substantially that the tournament was divided into European and American Zones. In 1955, an Eastern Zone was added and, in 1966, the European sector was split into Zones A and B. A record 142 nations played 2001-2003.
 
In July 1980, the International Tennis Federation adopted a new format for Davis Cup play, effective in 1981. Under this structure, the 16 top teams in the tournament, called the World Group, participate in a knock-out competition for the Championship, while the other countries play in zonal groupings. In 1988, the Zones were divided into Group I and Group II categories. In 1994, the eight finalists among the four Group I Zones were entered into a one-round play-off along with the eight losers of first-round World Group matches. With teams seeded in this play-off, the eight winners went to the World Group for 1995, while the eight losers went to appropriate Group I Zonal competitions. In 1996, Group II winners were promoted to Group I for 1997. To accommodate the growth in Davis Cup participation, a Zonal Group III was added in 1992 and a Zonal Group IV in 1997 wherein countries compete in four groups. The format is round robin, with each tie consisting of two singles and one doubles played to the best of three sets. The eight strongest nations in Group III are promoted to Group II, while the eight strongest Group IV nations move up to Group III.
 
The format for all competition, except Zonal Group III and IV, is a three-day match of two singles the first day, a doubles the second and two singles the third.
 
Championship Rounds
1900 UNITED STATES 3, Great Britain 0
1901 Not held
1902 UNITED STATES 3, Great Britain 2
1903 Great Britain 4, UNITED STATES 1
1904 Great Britain 5, Belgium 0
1905 Great Britain 5, United States 0
1906 Great Britain 5, United States 0
1907 Australasia 3, Great Britain 2
1908 AUSTRALASIA 3, United States 2
1909 AUSTRALASIA 5, United States 0
1910 Not held
1911 AUSTRALASIA 5, United States 0
1912 Great Britain 3, AUSTRALASIA 2
1913 United States 3, Great Britain 2
1914 Australasia 3, UNITED STATES 2
1915-18 Not held
1919 AUSTRALASIA 4, Great Britain 1
1920 United States 5, AUSTRALASIA 0
1921 UNITED STATES 5, Japan 0
1922 UNITED STATES 4, Australasia 1
1923 UNITED STATES 4, Australia 1
1924 UNITED STATES 5, Australia 0
1925 UNITED STATES 5, France 0
1926 UNITED STATES 4, France 1
1927 France 3, UNITED STATES 2
1928 FRANCE 4, United States 1
1929 FRANCE 3, United States 2
1930 FRANCE 4, United States 1
1931 FRANCE 3, Great Britain 2
1932 FRANCE 3, United States 2
1933 Great Britain 3, FRANCE 2
1934 GREAT BRITAIN 4, United States 1
1935 GREAT BRITAIN 5, United States 0
1936 GREAT BRITAIN 3, Australia 2
1937 United States 4, GREAT BRITAIN 1
1938 UNITED STATES 3, Australia 2
1939 Australia 3, UNITED STATES 2
1940-45 Not held
1946 United States 5, AUSTRALIA 0
1947 UNITED STATES 4, Australia 1
1948 UNITED STATES 5, Australia 0
1949 UNITED STATES 4, Australia 1
1950 Australia 4, UNITED STATES 1
1951 AUSTRALIA 3, United States 2
1952 AUSTRALIA 4, United States 1
1953 AUSTRALIA 3, United States 2
1954 United States 3, AUSTRALIA 2
1955 Australia 5, UNITED STATES 0
1956 AUSTRALIA 5, United States 0
1957 AUSTRALIA 3, United States 2
1958 United States 3, AUSTRALIA 2
1959 Australia 3, UNITED STATES 2
1960 AUSTRALIA 4, Italy 1
1961 AUSTRALIA 5, Italy 0
1962 AUSTRALIA 5, Mexico 0
1963 United States 3, AUSTRALIA 2
1964 Australia 3, UNITED STATES 2
1965 AUSTRALIA 4, Spain 1
1966 AUSTRALIA 4, India 1
1967 AUSTRALIA 4, Spain 1
1968 United States 4, AUSTRALIA 1
1969 UNITED STATES 5, Romania 0
1970 UNITED STATES 5, Germany 0
1971 UNITED STATES 3, Romania 2
1972 United States 3, ROMANIA 2
1973 Australia 5, UNITED STATES 0
1974 South Africa, India w/o
1975 SWEDEN 3, Czechoslovakia 2
1976 Italy 4, CHILE 1
1977 AUSTRALIA 3, Italy 1
1978 UNITED STATES 4, Great Britain 1
1979 UNITED STATES 5, Italy 0
1980 CZECHOSLOVAKIA 4, Italy 1
1981 UNITED STATES 3, Argentina 1
1982 United States 4, FRANCE 1
1983 AUSTRALIA 3, Sweden 2
1984 SWEDEN 4, United States 1
1985 Sweden 3, GERMANY 2
1986 AUSTRALIA 3, Sweden 2
1987 SWEDEN 5, India 0
1988 Germany 4, SWEDEN 1
1989 GERMANY 3, Sweden 2
1990 UNITED STATES 3, Australia 2
1991 FRANCE 3, United States 1
1992 UNITED STATES 3, Switzerland 1
1993 GERMANY 4, Australia 1
1994 Sweden 4, RUSSIA 1
1995 United States 3, RUSSIA 2
1996 France 3, SWEDEN 2
1997 SWEDEN 5, United States 0
1998 Sweden 4, ITALY 1
1999 Australia 3, FRANCE 2
2000 SPAIN 3, Australia 1
2001 France 3, AUSTRALIA 2
2002 Russia 3, FRANCE 2
2003 AUSTRALIA 3, Spain 1
2004 SPAIN 3, United States 2
2005 Croatia 3, SLOVAK REPUBLIC 2
2006 RUSSIA 3, Argentina 2
2007 UNITED STATES 4, Russia 1
2008 Spain 3, ARGENTINA 1
2009 SPAIN 5, Czech Republic 0
2010 SERBIA 3, France 2
2011 SPAIN 3, Argentina 1
2012 CZECH REPUBLIC 3, Spain 2
2013 Czech Republic 3, SERBIA 2
 
*Host nations are capitalized. Some finals took place in countries of neither participant.
 
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