This year, countries around the world participated in the annual Davis Cup, with France claiming their 10th Cup since the commencement of the tournament. The tournaments, which spanned from Feb. 3 to Nov. 26, ended with French tennis player Lucas Pouille claiming victory over Belgian player Steve Darcis with scores of 6-3, 6-1, and 6-0.
“Historically, the US tennis team has won the Davis Cup the most number of times with 32 victories,” said Ellie Cheong (11), tennis fan. “However, the 2016 champion was Argentina, who won 3-2 against Croatia. This year, Argentina was eliminated in February after losing 2-3 against Italy. In my opinion, Argentina’s loss was unexpected, because i never expected last year’s champions to lose so early in the tournament.”
The Davis Cup is a men’s international tennis team match regulated by the International Tennis Federation. Founded in 1900, the annual tournament decides winners on a knock-out format, which is when losers are dropped out of the tournament entirely. After the preliminaries, the 16 best teams are categorized as the “World Group,” are qualified to compete in the Davis Cup.
“To explain more about the rules of the Davis Cup, they use a specific system called ‘rubber’,” Cinji Lee (12), varsity tennis player, said. “In each elimination round, consist of five rubbers. The teams can win the elimination round by defeating their opponents in at least three out of the five rubbers. Each rubber also has a specific pattern – on some days, it is a singles tournament, then on other days, the rubber is a doubles tournament.”
According to the Guardian, spectators comment that Pouille’s match against Darcis was rather anticlimactic given that it was the finals match. From the start, Pouille’s victory was evident as he quickly won 3-0 in the first set. In addition, throughout the game, Pouille never faced a break point, which occurs when the receiving competitor only needs one point to win the game.
“I was a bit surprised on the results of the match, with Pouille winning such a decisive victory,” said Sophia Song (12), a tennis fan. “I thought Steve Darcis was a more likely candidate, because he is a more veteran player, and was a key player in Belgium rising to the finals this year. On the other hand, it was Pouille’s first time competing in the live Davis Cup’s fifth rubber.”