The Davis Cup - - A Long Tradition Still in the Making
4/6/04

By:  Sarah Alvanipour
This weekend, Bob and Mike will join their American teammates at the Delray Beach Stadium and Tennis to battle it out for the honor of their country in the coveted Davis Cup. With so much attention focused on Grand Slams, sometimes, we overlook this team competition, which has brought together the best of the best in each nation onto one court for the past 104 years. To get you up to date, here is a little history lesson.
The Davis Cup tournament has come a long way since its conception in 1900. At the time, only Great Britain responded to the challenge. Today, some 129 nations take part in one of the greatest tournaments in tennis.

The tournament is rich in history and has its roots based in the United States. Created by Dwight Filley Davis, a member of the first U.S. Davis Cup team and the man after whom the tournament is named, the Davis Cup has been a long-standing tradition in U.S. tennis.

Now, more than 100 years after the first Davis Cup match was contested at the Boston Longwood Cricket Club, the tournament’s principle intention remains the same: to determine who is the best nation in tennis today. The tournament does more than that, however. It embodies the mind, body, and spirit, encompassing both the challenge of competition and the will of a champion. It is the only team tournament today that brings together the young and the experienced onto one stage with one purpose: to work together for the benefit of the team and of the country.
This weekend, Bob and Mike will join forces with long-time pals Andy Roddick and Mardy Fish, to do just that when they take on Sweden in the Quarterfinals of the Davis Cup. The Brothers will be making their third consecutive appearance at the Davis Cup, having been named to the team for the first time last September, where they defeated the Slovak Republic on their home turf. They continued their Davis Cup success at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn. in February will a win over Austria in the third rubber.

The twin titans of doubles have maintained their No. 1 ranking and come into the tournament with confidence, having reached five finals thus far this year.

Coach and father Wayne Bryan says that they “are proud to be on the team.” Is he as confident as the Bros? He carefully calculates his answer. “This team has the potential to win the Davis Cup; by the same token, they could lose in the first round.”

The US team is relatively young, but perhaps enthusiasm and energy will make up for lack of experience.


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