Known as the World Cup of tennis, the Davis Cup sees men's tennis stars face off in a battle of nations. 

With a history stretching back to 1900, the Davis Cup is one of the oldest and most prestigious competitions in sport with over 130 nations now participating. The elite tennis nations of the world compete to feature in the 16-team 'World Group', with Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Juan Martin del Potro and Rafael Nadal among the stars who have led their countries to victory in recent years.

The Davis Cup takes an ambitious new format in 2019, with the world's top 18 nations competing in a week-long finals event held at a neutral venue. The 2018 Davis Cup semi-finalists - Croatia, France, Spain and USA - have already secured their spot at the Caja Magica in Madrid for the 2019 finals, along with wildcards Argentina and Great Britain. The 12 winning countries from the February 1-2 qualifiers complete the inaugural field, with the 2019 Davis Cup finals taking place from November 18-24.

Under the new format, countries that do not make it into the Davis Cup Finals or the Davis Cup qualifiers will compete under different Zone Groups (I, II, III and IV), with the 12 winners of Zone Group I ties gaining promotion into the following season's Davis Cup Qualifiers.

There will be 19 Group I and Group II ties across the world from 13-14 September, with world No. 4, Dominic Thiem headlining the latest round of Davis Cup action.

Thiem will spearhead Austria's bid for a spot in next year's Qualifiers, as they take on Finland in Espoo. In all, there will be 10 top-100 players in action, including Hungarian, Martin Fucsovics, Uruguay's Pablo Cuevas, and Portuguese No. 1, Joao Sousa.

There's a very familiar name further down the Davis Cup ladder, as world No. 8, Stefanos Tsitsipas leads Greece in Athens from 11-14 September as they attempt to secure promotion from World Group III.

Group I Ties, 13-14 September

Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Czech Republic
Sweden vs Israel
Finland vs Austria
Hungary vs Ukraine
Slovakia vs Switzerland
Belarus vs Portugal

Lebanon vs Uzbekistan
China vs Korea Republic

Brazil vs Barbados
Venezuela vs Ecuador
Uruguay vs Dominican Republic

Davis Cup Live Streaming

Davis Cup qualifiers will be played in various locations around the world from 1-2 February. Matches will be broadcast on TV by local providers, but bookmakers bet365 are offering customers the opportunity to watch live streams of all Davis Cup matches alongside in-play betting.

Watch and bet on Davis Cup tennis live at bet365 > live streaming > tennis (geo-restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

How to watch & bet on Davis Cup tennis

1. Visit the bet365 website

2. Sign into your account or register for a new one

3. Select Live Streaming

4. Select 'Tennis’ from the ‘All Sports’ dropdown menu

5. Enjoy a live stream & in-play betting for Davis Cup tennis, live from February 1-2, 2019

PLEASE NOTE: You must have a funded account or have placed a bet in the last 24 hours in order to watch tennis; geo-restrictions apply. 

Davis Cup Finals 2019 Nations

Twelve nations secured their spot in the inaugural Davis Cup Finals to be played in Madrid at the end of November after winning qualifying ties at the beginning of February.

Former Davis Cup champions Australia, Germany, Russia, Italy, Russia and Serbia all claimed a ticket to the Caja Magica in Madrid, along with Belgium, Canada, Chile, Columbia, Japan, Kazakhstan and Netherlands.

They join defending champions Croatia, runners-up France, last year’s semi-finalists Spain and the United States and wildcards Great Britain and Argentina in the 18-nation World Cup-style competition, which will be held between 18-24 November in the Spanish capital.

Check out the results from the qualifying ties, played on February 1-2, below:

Belgium def. Brazil 3-1
Australia def. Bosnia & Herzegovina 4-0
Germany def. Hungary 5-0
Kazakhstan def. Portugal 3-1
Columbia def. Sweden 4-0
Canada def. Slovakia 3-2
Serbia def. Uzbekistan 3-2
Italy def. Indian 3-1
Russia def. Switzerland 3-1
Netherlands def. Czech Republic 3-1
Chile def. Austria 3-2
Japan def. China 3-2

Already qualified courtesy of making 2018 Davis Cup semi-finals:

United States


Great Britain

The group stage of the Davis Cup finals will be made up of six pools of three teams, with the draw taking place on Thursday February 14 in Madrid.

What is the Davis Cup?

Davis Cup format

With 132 nations entering in 2018, the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport. Uniquely structured in terms of tennis competitions, a Davis Cup tie takes place over three days, with two singles rubbers held on the first day (Friday), followed by a doubles rubber on the second day (Saturday) before reverse singles on the third day (Sunday) – all played over the best of five sets. The first nation to score three points wins.

Although Davis Cup ties are played all around the world and involve players from all echelons of the sport (from the top 10 stars all the way down to players who don’t even have a ranking), the cream of the competition is the World Group. The top 16 nations in the world play in a knockout format over four weekends throughout the season, with eight nations progressing to the quarter-finals, four nations to the semi-finals and finally just two nations to the final, which is held during the last week of the long tennis season, bringing the year to a dramatic and fitting climax.

New Davis Cup format

A radical new format has been approved by the ITF for the Davis Cup which will begin in 2019.

The final 18 nations will compete at a week-long, season-ending tournament at a neutral site. The first Davis Cup final will be held from 18-24 November 2019 in Madrid, Spain. The finals will be played in Lille in France in 2020 and Indian Wells, California in 2021.

The world's top 24 nations will compete in a home-or-away qualifying round in February, with the 12 winning teams advancing to the final tournament. They will be joined by the four semifinalists from the previous year along with two wildcard teams (this means France, Croatia, the USA and Spain are all guaranteed to be involved in the final tournament in 2019).

The 18 teams who qualify for the finals will be placed into six groups of three teams to compete in round-robin play. The six group winners, along with the two teams with the best records through round-robin play, advance to the quarterfinals.

The format of ties has also changed. At the finals, the ties will consist of three rubbers, two singles and a doubles match - all played as best-of-three set matches instead of best-of-five sets.

Davis Cup history

Starting off as a competition between the USA and Great Britain all the way back in 1900, the Davis Cup has transformed into the biggest annual international team competition in global sport, with a total of 132 nations taking part in the 2018 edition.

The Davis Cup concept was first established by four members of the Harvard University tennis team, who were eager to create a match between the USA and Great Britain, who were then playing under the name of the British Isles. The two national organisations agreed and the idea was brought to reality, with one of the four players from Harvard - Dwight Davis - designing the format and trophy, buying the silverware with his own money. The tournament was originally named the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, but it soon became known as the Davis Cup after Dwight Davis’s trophy, which was designed by William Durgin and Rowland Rhodes. USA beat the British Isles 3-0 at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston and have since gone onto dominate the Davis Cup over the course of the next 118 years, winning a record 32 titles.

France, Austria, Belgium and Australasia (comprised of players from Australia and New Zealand) joined the Davis Cup in 1905 as the competition expanded for the first time, and by 1920, there will over 20 nations competing all over the world. USA, Great Britain and Australasia maintained a stranglehold on the Davis Cup in the early years, but their period of dominance was halted by France in 1927, who went on to win the title for the next six consecutive years - an achievement only bettered by USA from 1920-26. USA, Great Britain and Australia would go on to take control of the competition again from the 1930s - and it wasn’t until the 1970s that any other country would take home the trophy as South Africa, Sweden and Italy won their first titles in 1974, 1975 and 1976 respectively.

It was in 1969 - a year after the start of the Open Era in tennis - that the Davis Cup underwent a significant change of format and major expansion. The Challenge Round was scrapped, which meant that the reigning champion would have to play in every round, instead of gaining a bye straight into the final the following year, while 50 nations were now competing in the Davis Cup as the competition swiftly grew in popularity around the world, with Czechoslovakia joining the first-time winners honours roll in 1980.

The current World Group format of 16 teams was introduced into the Davis Cup in 1981, with the remaining teams split into regional Zone Groups with promotion and relegation from each zone brought into play. This was also the first year that the Davis Cup gained sponsorship, agreeing to a commercial partnership with NEC, which allowed prize money to be awarded for the first time - giving further incentive for top players to take part. Sweden and Germany would join the likes of Australia, USA and France as dominant forces and combine for seven of the next 15 Davis Cups, while Spain would emerge as a powerhouse of the 00s, winning the title five times and finishing runner-up on two more occasions.

The Davis Cup would welcome 100 nations for the first time in 1993, while BNP Paribas took over as the competition’s sponsor in 2002 - a partnership that remains to this day. Czech Republic won the competition’s 100th final in 2012, beating Spain 3-2 in a dramatic final, while Switzerland and Argentina would go on to win their first Davis Cups in 2014 and 2016 respectively. Great Britain (2015) and France (2017) also returned to the winners circle after long droughts.

Davis Cup statistics

Davis Cup winners

Most successful Davis Cup nations

NationNumber of titlesLast titleNumber of finalsLast final
Great Britain10201581978
Germany/West Germany3199321985
Czechoslovakia/Czech Republic3201322009
South Africa119740-

Greatest Davis Cup players

Italian legend Nicola Pietrangeli holds the record for the most wins in both singles and doubles, playing 164 rubbers for Italy in a total of 66 ties. He has a win-loss record of 120-44, winning 78 singles matches and 42 doubles encounters, while he also forms half of the most successful Davis Cup doubles partnership with Orlando Sirola, with the pair winning 34 of their 42 doubles rubbers for Italy.

Ilie Nasatase of Romania isn’t far behind with 109 total match wins, followed by Omar Alawadhi (94, UAE), Manuel Santana (92, Spain) and Leander Paes (90, India). The unheralded Deomenico Vinci of minnows San Marino holds the honour of playing the most Davis Cup ties (93). Tut Bartzen of the USA boasts the leading unbeaten Davis Cup record of 15-0 in singles, achieved between 1952 and 1961, while Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis holds the record for most consecutive wins with 36. Rafael Nadal is currently on a 22-match winning streak and is fourth all time behind Baghdatis, Bjorn Borg (33) and Boris Becker (22), while Andy Murray (GBR) and Marcelo Rios (Chile) each compiled 19-match winning streaks in singles.

Davis Cup records

Most titles: USA - 32

Longest rubber by duration: Tomas Berdych/Lukas Rosol (CZE) def. Stan Wawrinka/Marco Chiudinelli (SUI) 6-4 5-7 6-4 6-7 24-22 in seven hours and two minutes

Longest run of wins by a nation by ties: USA - 17, between 1968-1973

Most total wins - Nicola Pietrangeli of Italy: 120

Longest winning streak - Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus with 36

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