Davis Cup Betting

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The origins of Davis Cup tennis date back to 1899. That’s when members of the Harvard University tennis team proposed an International Lawn Tennis Challenge that would pit a United States side against a team from the British Isles.

A trophy was donated by one of the U.S. players, Dwight Davis, and in 1900, the first ever “Davis Cup” competition took place. The inaugural contest involved four matches, and it was held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston. As it turned out, the Americans were the surprise winner.

For the 1905 edition, the Davis Cup competition was expanded to include teams from Austria, Belgium and France, along with an Australasian side consisting of players from New Zealand and Australia. By the time the competition reached the 1920s, over 20 different nations were participating regularly in the yearly event.

The format of the tournament was modified on numerous occasions during the 20th century. It began as a “challenge cup,” as teams competed for the right to go up against the previous year’s champion.

In 1923, the challengers were organised into the American Zone and the European Zone. Then, in 1955, a third zone joined them, the Eastern Zone. Eleven years later, a decision was taken to divide the European Zone into two sections, A and B. That was the last change until the “Open Era” was inaugurated in 1972, so that the defending champion was required to advance through the brackets along with all of the challengers.

A tiered system of competition was devised in 1981. This is the format of play still used today. It is based upon the 16 highest ranking national teams competing in the “World Group,” as all of the other national sides compete in three regional zones, which are further divided into four groups apiece. Now that at least 125 teams enter each year, the Davis Cup is unrivalled as the foremost international team tennis event for men.

The International Tennis Federation (ITF) is the organising authority for the Davis Cup. Among its responsibilities are formulating the world rankings, allocating seeds and determining venues for the elimination matches. Since 2002, BNP Paribas has been the title sponsor for the competition, replacing Japanese communications company NEC.

Each match-up of the tournament is referred to as a “tie.” The first tie each year takes place on a weekend in March. Teams that are paired in the World Group and Zone Groups I and II play five matches against each other, which consist of two singles matches on Friday, a doubles match on Saturday and two reverse singles matches on Sunday. One of the two paired nations serves as host for each tie.

In the case of Zone Groups III and IV, only three matches are played in each tie. A best-of-three rubbers format is used over the course of a single day, which features two singles matches and one doubles match. These groups have their ties scheduled in April through July. The teams that advance from the various groups move on to the play-offs, quarterfinals and semifinals that are conducted in July through September. The World Group Final is then held in December.

The length of the tournament, with matches played throughout most of the year, creates lots of opportunities for betting. Ante post wagering on the overall Davis Cup winner becomes possible as soon as the world rankings are known, typically as early as January.

Every year, plenty of speculation is voiced about who will join the national teams. Owing to full schedules, many of the top-ranked individual players choose not to participate; they instead concentrate on high-paying tournaments and Grand Slam events. As a result, the field tends to be much more even than one might otherwise expect. Upsets by lesser known teams are not uncommon.

Bracket wagering is very popular, as is wagering on individual match-ups, rubber winners, group winners and the final scores of ties. In-running or live betting is also available at many sportsbooks online, particularly as the quarter- and semi-final rounds get under way and matches are broadcast worldwide.

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