The Davis Cup has been held since 1900. Only men take part in the team competition (the Federation Cup is held for women).
Teams of athletes from different countries are divided into groups depending on the level of training. The opponent is determined by lot. The Olympic system of the game is designed for the 16 strongest teams (World Group). In this system, the losing team is immediately eliminated from the game. The winner will be the one who has never lost.
Zonal competitions are held for teams that do not get into the World Group. The zones are made up on a geographical basis. The following zones are distinguished: «Europe/Africa», «Asia/Oceania», «America». Here, the two highest groups play according to the Olympic system, and the two groups play according to the round-robin system (each team plays with each other, the winner is the one who gets the maximum number of points). And yet, the winners in the groups next year go to a higher level, the losers — to a lower level.
The idea of holding such a tournament appeared back in 1899 and belongs to four students of Harvard University. One of them was Dwight Davis. He developed a scheme for holding matches, bought a silver trophy for the winner with his own money.
The first competition was held in Massachusetts in 1900. Only two teams became participants: athletes from the USA and Great Britain. Davis himself played for the USA. It was his team that became the winner of the tournament, winning three matches in a row.
In 1901, the tournament was not held. In 1902 , the USA team again plays with representatives of Great Britain and wins for the second time with a score of 3:2. And only the following year (in 1903) did the British tennis players get lucky. With a score of 4:1, they win against the USA.
In 1905, new participants of the tournament appeared: Belgium, Australasia (the national team of Australia and New Zealand played together until 1914), France and Austria.
International Lawn Tennis Challenge – the original name of the tournament. In 1945, D. Davis passed away. The organizers of the tournament decided to name the Cup in his honor.
Teams from 130-140 countries of the world are taking part in the tournament today.
The USA team has won the tournament 32 times. The second place belongs to the representatives of Australia, who have received the honorary title 28 times. The third place went to the athletes of Great Britain, who won 9 times.
Russia has distinguished itself at the Davis Cup only 2 times: in 2002 (in rivalry with France) and in 2006, winning against Argentina.