One of the most famous competitions in men’s tennis, the Davis Cup has been running for more than a century – but how much do you know about it history? We’ve produced a timeline of its most significant moments.
1899 – The Davis Cup competition was born
Four Harvard University students came up with the idea of holding an annual tennis tournament between the British and American men’s teams.
1900 – The inaugural tournament was held
The USA triumphed, beating the Brits by 3 – 0 at Boston’s Longwood Cricket Club.
1903 – Britain took the title for the first time
The British Isles claimed the first of four back-to-back titles with a 4 – 1 win against the USA.
1905 – The tournament expands
Austria, Australasia, Belgium and France joined the battle for the cup.
1907 – Australasia won for the first time
The team, which included players from Australia and New Zealand, beat the British Isles by 3 -2 to clinch the title.
1927 – France picks up its first championship win
France became the third country to raise the cup aloft with a 3 – 2 win over the USA in Philadelphia.
1969 – The countries entering increased
The competition had continued to expand and, by 1969, fifty nations were competing.
1972 – The Challenge Round was abolished
Prior to 1972, the reigning champions only played in the final. The competition format changed this year so they had to play in every round.
1974 – South Africa won the trophy for the first time
South Africa won with a walkover, when India refused to travel there due to its policy of apartheid.
1975 – Sweden took its first championship title
The Swedish team clinched the trophy by defeating Czechoslovakia by 3 – 2 in Stockholm.
1976 – Italy put in a cup-winning performance
The Italians beat Chile by 4 – 1 in Santiago to take the title for the first time.
1980 – Czechoslovakia added its name to the winners’ list
Czechoslovakia added the cup to its collection of tennis trophies with a 4 – 1 victory over Italy in Prague.
1981 – The format changed again
The World Group and Zone Group format that the competition uses today was introduced this year.
1988 – Germany claimed a championship victory
The Germans took the title for the first time with a 4 – 1 home win against Australia.
2000 – Spain took the title for the first time
The Spanish triumphed with a 3 – 1 win against the United States of America in Barcelona.
2002 – Russia clinches its first championship
A 3 -2 win against the French enabled the Russians to take the trophy home for the first time.
2005 – Croatia adds its name to the list of championship winners
The Croatians beat Slovakia by 3 – 2 in Bratislava to ensure the trophy was theirs.
2010 – Serbia becomes a cup winner
A 3 – 2 victory over France in front of a home crowd sealed Serbia’s first championship win.
2014 – Switzerland are victorious for the first time
The Swiss added the cup to their tennis trophies for the first time when they beat France by 3 -1.
2015 – Great Britain became the trophy holders once more
Led by Andy Murray, the Brits won the famous cup for the first time in 79 years when they beat Belgium by 3 – 1.
But can they successfully defend their title in 2016? British tennis fans will certainly be hoping so. A 3 -1 win against Japan in March secured the team a place in the quarter-finals, with the Brits now set to face Serbia in July.
Did you watch Britain win the 2015 Davis Cup? Who do you think will take the trophy home this year? We’d love to know what you think.