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Davis Cup: Instant Expert

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Originally published on 27/11/15

In 114 years of competition, 22 different nations have reached the final. Fourteen different nations have lifted the trophy, but the Grand Slam nations have dominated, boasting 78 titles between them (USA 32, Australia 28, France 9, Great Britain 9).

 

The 2015 final will be the 26th Davis Cup final to have been held on clay. The first time a final was held on clay was in 1928, when France beat USA 4-1 at Roland Garros. In total 55 finals, including the first 22 between 1900 and 1927, have been held on grass, 11 on hard courts and 11 on carpet.

 

Of the 25 different men to have been ranked world No.1 since the introduction of the ATP rankings in 1973, 19 have won the Davis Cup, and 22 have played in a Davis Cup final. Only Thomas Muster, Marcelo Rios and Gustavo Kuerten have never played in a Davis Cup final.

 

Since the introduction of the World Group, John McEnroe is the only player to win all eight singles rubbers in a single season – winning eight singles (as well as four doubles rubbers) to guide USA to the title in 1982.  Andy Murray could join McEnroe in the history books if he wins both of his singles rubbers this weekend.

 

Albert Costa, who is one of only 18 men to have won the Davis Cup both as a player (2000) and captain (2009, 2011), also won the Junior Davis Cup in 1991 when Spain beat Czechoslovakia in the final.

 

Rafael Nadal, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano Lopez made history in 2009 – the first final since the start of the World Group in 1981 that three lefthanders played in the same team in a final. Spain beat Czech Republic 5-0 and the same three players also played in the 2011 final when Spain defeated Argentina 3-1.

 

Since the 1972, the winning team has won the doubles on all but five occasions, including twice in the last five years, when Serbia beat France in 2010 and Spain beat Argentina the following year.

 

The last time both the reigning champions and the runners-up lost in the first round the following year was in 2005, when holders Spain lost to Slovak Republic and 2004 runners-up USA lost to Croatia, who went on to win the competition. It has only happened four times since the introduction of the Final Round in 1972.

 

Croatia were the first unseeded team to win the Davis Cup when the team of Ivan Ljubicic, Mario Ancic, Goran Ivanisevic and Ivo Karlovic beat Slovakia in the 2005 final. Croatian captain Nikki Pilic became the first captain to win the trophy with two different teams, after leading Germany to the title in 1988, 1989 and 1993.

 

10 Only once has a team come from 0-2 down to win the final – way back in 1939 when Australian Adrian Quist and John Bromwich pulled off an heroic comeback, teaming up to win the doubles before winning their singles matches on the final day as the Australians beat USA 3-2 in Pennsylvania.  There have only been six occasions when a nation has come from 2-1 down to win the final, most recently in 2010, when Novak Djokovic and Viktor Troicki fought back as Serbia beat France 3-2 in Belgrade.

 

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