In 2016, 135 nations have entered Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, making it the world's largest annual international team competition in sport.
Davis Cup is structured with a 16-nation World Group, contested over four weekends during the year. The remaining countries are then divided into three regional Zones depending on their location.
The eight nations that win their World Group first round ties progress to play in the quarterfinals, semifinals and subsequent final, at which the winning team is crowned champion. These nations are all guaranteed of a place in the top tier the following year. The eight nations that lose their first round ties have to contest the World Group play-offs.
World Group play-offs
The World Group play-offs decide promotion and relegation between the eight first round losers from World Group and eight winners from Zone Group I.
The Zone Groups are divided into three regions: Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe/Africa. Within each region there are either three or four divisions, Group I being the highest and Group IV being the lowest.
Zone Groups III and IV follow a different format to the higher Groups. They are week-long events played at one location. Each Group is initially split into round-robin pools, with play-offs then deciding promotion and relegation. The exact format of each Group varies according to the number of participating teams.
World Group and Zone Groups I and II
Ties are contested in a best-of-five rubbers format and are played over a three-day weekend. There are two singles on Friday, a doubles on Saturday and then the reverse singles on Sunday. The tie is hosted by one of the competing nations.
The host nation is decided depending on where the two competing teams played their most recent tie against each other, as long as the tie took place after 1970. Any ties before this date don’t count towards the choice of ground.
If a nation had home advantage last time then it will be away next time, and vice versa. If the nations have never previously met, or if they faced each other at a neutral venue, then the choice of ground is decided by lot.
Zone Groups III and IV
Ties are contested in a best-of-three rubbers format and are played on one day. There are two singles followed by a doubles. Due to the multi-nation format, ties take place on successive days.
Dates for 2016
World Group first round
Americas Zone Group I first round
Americas Zone Group II first round
Asia/Oceania Zone Group I first round
Asia/Oceania Zone Group II first round
Europe/Africa Zone Group I first round
Europe/Africa Zone Group II first round
World Group quarterfinals
Americas Zone Group I second round
Americas Zone Group II second round / play-offs
Asia/Oceania Zone Group I second round
Asia/Oceania Zone Group II second round / play-offs
Europe/Africa Zone Group I second round
Europe/Africa Zone Group II second round / play-offs
World Group semifinals
World Group play-offs
Americas Zone Group I first round play-offs / second round play-offs
Americas Zone Group II third round
Asia/Oceania Zone Group I first round play-offs / second round play-offs
Asia/Oceania Zone Group II third round
Europe/Africa Zone Group I first round play-offs / second round play-offs
Europe/Africa Zone Group II third round
World Group Final
Click on the flipbook below to view the online version of the Davis Cup Rules & Regulations.