Topic: Davis Cup final

the final will start in few minutes.
Chardy against Coric.
last edition in this format.
big surprise with the choice of Chardy in place of Pouille.
but Pouille had a very bad season.
anyway he can be left for last singles and that is an advantage compared with Croatians who have only Cilic and Coric for singles.
I support Croatians, from far biggest players.
but will not be easy on clay and with the pressure of french crowd.
a repetition of World Cup final!

Re: Davis Cup final

The Croats did it!  The last "true" Davis Cup (eyeroll) is won by Croatia, very cool.  Great history of great tennis players from that country.

Re: Davis Cup final

Actually...
up until 1914, the format of the Davis Cup was similar to the 'new' proposal for 2019.  Typically the competing nations all assembled in one country and played the whole tournament there.  There were some minor exceptions - sometimes it was more convenient to play an early tie elsewhere.

So, for example, in 1914, 4 of the 6 ties were played in the US - more or less back to back - but two of the ties, between just European countries were played in Europe as a preliminary.

But in 1919, the format with home and away ties became more like we've been used to in the past 100 years.  In 1923, they first divided into zones, so that nations wouldn't have to travel too far to play tie - this was because there were a few defaults due to travel length in 1922 and 1921.

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing

Re: Davis Cup final

I don't think the Davis Cup will ever be as important as it was in it's first 25 years (1900-1925).  Up until that time it was seen as the primary mechanism to determine world yearend #1.

It was the World Championship.  They didn't have computers and the slams didn't really come into existence until 1925.  And even then, the slams (at least some of them) weren't that important.  So, for example, Maurice McLoughlin was regarded as the world #1 for 1914 even though he didn't win any slams.  But he took his nation to the Davis Cup and beat the world's other two best players in the process.

When the Davis Cup was founded in 1900, the whole point was that the Americans thought they were as good (possibly better?) than the Brits.  As the inventors of the game the Brits had more time to practise it and more interest in the game (at first) than any other country.  So they were the best at it.

For example, Richard Sears, who was the undisputed American champion winning the first seven US Opens (Championships) travelled to England to play the best players there in the mid 1880's and was found to be a whole level below the top British players.

But by the late 1890's the Americans were starting to suspect that they were at least as good as the Brits and maybe better than them in doubles.  So the Americans issued a challenge and the first Cup was held in 1900 on American soil.  The US won the first two cups, even beating four time Wimbledon singles champ Reg Doherty and it became an open question as to who was #1 in 1900-1902 with Reg and Laurie Doherty, Mal Whitman, and William Larned all as plausible candidates.  Whitman had retired by the start of 1903 (age 25), and Laurie Doherty distinguished himself as the definitive #1 claiming, Wimbledon, the US Open, and the Davis Cup, going undefeated for the entire year of 1903.

The slam tournaments did not exist in the public consciousness at that time.  It turned out that when the US went to the UK to challenge for the Davis Cup they also played Wimbledon, and when Britain went to the US for the Davis Cup, they also played the US Chps.  Then when Australia started winning the cup in 1907 - the Aus Chps also received some foreign big name players.  But the main attraction was always the Davis Cup.

Duane Williams was an American who was trying to organize an international tennis federation.  This became the ITF.  It was founded in 1913 as the ILTF, but the Americans did not join.  They possibly would have joined if Williams had been alive, but he died in the Titanic sinking in 1912 (his son survived the crash and won the US Chps twice in 1914 and 1916).  There was a fight between the ILTF and the Americans.  The ILTF named three world championship tournaments, all in Europe. (these were the fore runners to the slams) The Americans thought the World Championship should be controlled by the Davis Cup (which they had founded), and did not like the idea of the world championships all being in Europe.

Eventually a compromise was reached and the world championship tournaments were stripped of their designations for 1924.  The US joined the ILTF and the four championships of the US, UK, France, and Australia were recognized as primary (thus starting the idea of the four slams).  In 1924 the French Chps were not held, instead the Olympics were in Paris that year, and in 1925, all four slam tournaments were played but only open to amateurs. (and there were no significant pro players at that time)

But in 1927, Suzanne Lenglen went pro and in 1931 Bill Tilden did.  They were by far the two biggest stars of tennis in the 1920's.  Going pro meant mostly playing a travelling tour of matches - like concerts - called 'barnstorming' in those days for whatever reason.  So from about the early 30's the best players (at least the men) were usually pros and not amateurs, so neither the Davis Cup nor the slam tournaments were determining the #1 player in the world. 

When Jack Crawford in 1933 nearly won all four slams, and Budge in 1938 did win all four, then the slams really came to prominence as the most important in the AMATEUR game, overshadowing the Davis Cup.  But since everyone knew the best players were actually professionals, there was increasing call to allow professionals to play the slams.

But the ILTF (it changed its name to ITF in 1977) didn't want to give up all the money they were making from tournaments to the pros, so they stone-walled them until 1967, when Wimbledon led the way and declared that in 1968 it would be "Open" to all, starting the Open Era of tennis.

In the meantime, the Davis Cup had slowly faded in importance to what it is today.  It's an interesting team competition, but because we have the slams, it will never be the World Championship or determine #1 the way it used to.  It will never be the World Cup of tennis.  At least, that's my opinion...

2017 Supreme Jedi, 2017 Lord Vader, 2017 Chivalrous Wookie, 2015 Naboo Champion, 2018 Big Fat Nothing