The ITF has announced it will be launching the Davis Cup Commitment Award at the 100th final in Prague next weekend.
This new award has been conceived as part of the ITF’s 2013 Centenary celebrations, and will be presented by the ITF to Davis Cup players who have shown long-standing dedication to representing their country in this prestigious competition.
Each award recipient will have competed in a minimum of 20-home-and-away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition (including zone group events) over their career.
The ITF will be presenting the first eight trophies to players in an on-court presentation at the 100th Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Final on Saturday 17 November. These include Tomas Berdych, who will compete for Czech Republic in the Final, and his compatriots Jan Kodes and Tomas Smid, members of Czechoslovakia’s 1980 Davis Cup winning team.
ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti said: “The launch of the Davis Cup Commitment Award reflects the dedication by players for more than a century to represent their country in this prestigious competition. These players have continued to rise to the unique challenge of competing in a team environment in front of their home fans, and we believe that it is fitting to recognise their efforts in our centenary year."
Manolo Santana, who played a record 46 ties for Spain, will receive a trophy alongside compatriots Juan Gisbert and Feliciano Lopez. Awards will also be presented to Italy’s Nicola Pietrangeli, who holds the overall record of 66 home-and-away ties; and Domenico Vicini of San Marino, who is the record holder for number of ties at all levels with 87.
A total of 299 players have already qualified to receive the award, of whom 252 are still alive. The ITF through its National Associations will make presentations to award winners at Davis Cup home ties throughout 2013 as part of the ITF Centenary celebrations.
The Commitment Award trophies are based on the design of the current Davis Cup trophy. All recipients will also be recognised on an honours board at the ITF headquarters in London and in a dedicated section on DavisCup.com. A full list of award winners can be viewed here.
Over 5,000 players in history have taken part in Davis Cup, which began in 1900 as a competition between USA and Great Britain at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston. The event has grown to become the largest annual international team competition in sport with 122 nations taking part in 2012. Over 500 players contest Davis Cup every year.