The Davis Cup is the premier international team event in men's tennis. It is run by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and is contested annually between teams from competing countries in a knock-out format.
The competition began in 1900 as a challenge between Britain and the United States. By 2007, 137 nations entered teams into the competition. The most successful countries over the history of the tournament are the United States (winning 32 tournaments and finishing as runners-up 29 times) and Australia (winning 28 times, including four occasions with New Zealand under the name 'Australasia', and finishing as runners-up 19 times). The present champion is Spain who beat Argentina to claim the title.
The tournament was conceived in 1899 by four members of the Harvard University tennis team who wished to challenge the British to a tennis competition. Once their respective lawn tennis associations agreed, one of the four Harvard players, Dwight F. Davis, designed a tournament format and ordered an appropriate sterling silver trophy from Shreve, Crump & Low, purchasing it from his own funds for about $1000.
They in turn commissioned a classically-styled design from William B. Durgin's of Concord, New Hampshire, crafted by the Englishman Rowland Rhodes. Davis went on to become a prominent politician in the United States in the 1920s, serving as US Secretary of War from 1925–29 and as Governor-General of the Philippines from 1929–32.
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To keep an eye on the current state of world tennis, visit our other Grand Slam events for all the Major tournaments, offering up-to-dated tennis information and a complete tennis schedules.