The International Tennis Federation has launched an online photographic campaign to commemorate the 100th Davis Cup Final, which is taking place in Prague from 16-18 November.
In the build-up to this milestone, the ITF will be unveiling a gallery on Facebook and DavisCup.com to highlight iconic moments from the past 99 finals.
The photo gallery will be released in instalments every day until the start of this year’s final and today starts with the 1900s and 1920s. To view the gallery visit www.facebook.com/DavisCupTennis.
The ITF has also temporarily redesigned DavisCup.com to celebrate the fact that the encounter between Czech Republic and Spain at the O2 Arena in Prague is the 100th final in the competition’s illustrious history.
Both nations have had their share of historic moments in Davis Cup, with Spain winning five titles since the turn of the century and Czech Republic winning the last title before the introduction of the World Group in 1981.
Davis Cup began in 1900 as a competition between USA and Great Britain at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston. It was conceived by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, one of whom, Dwight Davis, designed a tournament format and ordered a trophy, buying it with his own money. The tournament was originally known as the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, but soon became known as Davis Cup after Dwight Davis’s trophy.
Davis Cup has grown to become the largest annual international team competition in sport with 122 nations taking part in 2012. The competition celebrated its centenary year in 1999, and 2012 will see the 100th staging of the Final. The 100 finals have been held in 16 countries, with just 13 countries going on to become Davis Cup champion.
The Davis Cup itself has also grown from the silver salad bowl presented for the inaugural competition in 1900, to a 110cm-high and 107cm wide three-plinth trophy holding the original cup itself, engraved with the names of the champions. The bowl itself bears the names of the champions from 1900-1919; the tray with the 1920-1932 winners; the top two plinths with the names of the 1933-2002 champions on its silver plaques; and the recent winners on the base plinth. It is also the world’s only original major sporting cup to have lasted a century and the most well-travelled.