22-28 November 2021

Davis Cup by Rakuten

La Caja Mágica, Madrid

Davis Cup Explained

  • Davis Cup Madrid Finals logo

The Davis Cup is the World Cup of tennis. It is the largest annual international team competition in world sport and was founded in 1900 by Dwight Davis. Great Britain are the only nation to have competed in all editions of the tournament and have lifted the trophy ten times, most recently in 2015.  

What is the Davis Cup format?

In 2019, the Davis Cup kickstarted a new format which saw nations across the globe compete in ties in February, April, September and November. 

February April September November

24 teams play in home and away ties. 

12 winning teams qualify for the final in November.

Losing teams are relegated to Group I.

Group II - IV ties* Group I - IV ties*

Davis Cup Finals played over seven days.

Teams will include: four teams from previous year's semi-finals, 12 qualifying teams from February and two wild cards

*Group II - IV ties can be played in April or September but Group I must be played in September.

The new format involves a qualifying round in February, with 24 teams taking part in home and away matches – a key part of the Davis Cup’s heritage. The 12 winners secure a direct place into the Davis Cup Finals and join the four semi-finalists of the previous year – who qualify without having to play in February – and two wild cards that are announced before the draw for the qualifying round. Visit the ITF website more information.

Davis Cup Finals

The Davis Cup Finals in November is a week-long competition which sees the top 18 nations battle for the iconic trophy at Madrid's Caja Magica. Nations are split into six groups of three and for the first four days, compete in round-robin ties. Each tie features two singles and one doubles rubber which are all played over best-of-three sets.  

The top teams from each group and the two best runners-up advance to the quarter-finals on Friday, with the semis on Saturday and the final on Sunday.  

Great Britain ahead of the 2019 Davis Cup Finals...