The brainchild of 4 students from Harvard University in 1900, the Davis Cup started life as the Lawn Tennis Challenge, with the first match taking place between teams from the USA and Great Britain. One of the players Dwight Davis purchased a trophy for the inaugural winners, after which it became known as the Davis Cup.
Five years later, the competition included teams from France, Belgium, Australasia and Austria, and by 1920 there were 20 teams, and by 1969 there were 50 teams. In 2018, 132 teams entered the Davis Cup.
2018 Davis Cup World Group Betting
France 3/1, Spain 4/1, Croatia 11/2, USA 9/1, Australia 10/1, Belgium 16/1, Great Britain 20/1, Serbia 22/1, Germany 22/1, Italy 25/1, Kazakhstan 28/1, Switzerland 33/1, Japan 40/1, Netherlands 66/1, Hungary 66/1
2018 Davis Cup Draw
France (1) vs Netherlands
Italy (8) vs Japan
Great Britain (3) vs Spain
Australia (6) vs Germany
Kazakstan vs Switzerland (5)
Canada vs Croatia (4)
USA vs Serbia (7)
Hungary vs Belgium (2)
2018 Davis Cup Main Contenders
France are the reigning champions, and have won the Davis Cup 10 times, though their 2018 victory was their first since 2001. Last year the singles matches were mainly contested by Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Lucas Pouille, whilst Pierre-Hughes Herbert and Richard Gasquet combines in the doubles in the final, though Gasquet hadn’t played much in the earlier stages.
Spain won the Davis Cup 5 time between 2000 and 2011 but got no further than the quarter-finals last year when a Novak Djokovic inspired Serbia beat them 4-1. Rafa Nadal is extremely unlikely to play, and last year’s squad was comprised of Roberto Bautista-Agut, Albert Ramos-Vinolas, Pablo Carreno-Busta, Feliciano Lopez, Jaume Munar and Marc Lopez.
Croatia looked in danger of losing their place in the World Group last season, until Marin Cilic stepped-in for their match against Colombia. He won both his singles-matches and the doubles there, but the be world number three may choose not to play this season after doing so well in the recent Australian Open.
The 28 times champions haven’t lifted the trophy since 2005 but reached the semi-finals last year where they were beaten by Belgium. Nick Kyrgios is their main match-winner, but it remains to be seen as to whether the likes of Jordan Thompson or John Millman can help him out in the final stages.
Belgium have yet to win the Davis Cup, but reached the final last year thanks to David Goffin going unbeaten in singles matches. Steve Darcis is not a bad second player, but may again struggle to win a match against one of the better teams if they field their strongest players.
Kyle Edmund may have come of age by reaching the Australian Open semi-finals, whilst Daniel Evans has held his own in the competition on more than one occasion. However, they may need Andy Murray in the final stages though and, having lifted the trophy in 2015, Murray may have already ticked winning the Davis Cup off his bucket-list.
The likes of Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer are rarely seen in the Davis Cup, therefore the likes of Great Britain, Serbia and Switzerland may lack the firepower this year. It’s therefore annoying that France and Spain have been drawn in the same half of the draw, as I’d have been happy to take both of them against the field. Therefore, preference is for France, with Tsonga and Pouille more than capable of beating the majority of players they’re likely to face.