The sale of seats was launched with the display of a 1,600m2 canvas in the La Malagueta bullring, on which was written the message ‘Malaga, this Davis is for you’. It was a welcome davis cup message to the eight teams who will eventually make it through to the finals of the tennis tournament, as reported by laopiniondemalaga.Es.
Group matches will be played between September 13 and 18 at four different European venues, specifically in Valencia, Glasgow, Hamburg, and Bologna. From these groups, the top two teams will head to the Costa del Sol in November.
As explained by Enric Rojas, CEO of Kosmos Tennishey, the teams will face each other in direct elimination rounds in a ‘Final 8’ format with the quarterfinals, semifinals, and final. “This will allow the fans of those eight classified teams to plan their trip to Malaga in advance to support their team”, he pointed out.
Tickets are reported to be literally “flying” in these early stages, and can be purchased in different packages through the web portal: daviscupfinals.Com.
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The Recovery Of The Davis Cup
LAWN tennis is the most widely played athletic game. At the outbreak of World War II, fifty-one nations were members of the International Lawn Tennis Federation. In normal years, more than twenty-five countries challenge for the Davis Cup. In 1933, thirty-four competed. Within five months after V-J Day, twenty nations challenged Australia for the Cup. That so many gave thought to tennis and the Davis Cup under the grim post-war conditions shows how great the interest in the game is throughout the world.
The winning of the Davis Cup in 1946 by the United States marked the most extraordinary coincidence in the history of sport. In 1914, at the outbreak of World War I, Australasia (Australia and New Zealand) was the challenger, the United States the holding nation. Australasia, represented by Norman Brookes and the late Anthony Wilding, lifted the Cup by defeating Maurice McLoughlin, R. Norris Williams II, and Thomas Bundy, the American team, 3-2. The trophy made the long trek to Melbourne, where it remained in a vault undisturbed until after the war. In 1920 the United States became the challenger and “Big Bill” Tilden and the late “Little Bill” Johnston went “down under” and defeated Brookes and Gerald Patterson 5-0. In 1939 we held the Cup and Australia was again the challenger. The first match was played September 2, the day after Germany invaded Poland to start World War II. Again Australia (with New Zealand no longer included) won by the same score, 3-2, and again the Cup was taken for another long rest in a Melbourne vault. The year after hostilities ceased, Davis Cup competition was resumed; the United States emerged the challenger and in 1946, at the Kooyong Stadium in Melbourne, defeated the Aussies by the same score as in 1920, 5-0. During our preparation for the contest we kept that 1920 score constantly in mind and were determined to duplicate it and to complete the extraordinary cycle of events. If we are to complete the coincidence, we must hold the Cup for six more years, as we did from 1920 through 1926.
Lawn tennis originated in England in the early 1870’s and during the first few years was played mostly from the base line. As a result, the early players developed excellent forehand and backhand drives and little else. That situation prevailed until the late 1880’s, when a young American, Oliver S. Campbell, who had been interested in the game for several years, developed an attack designed to overcome the advantage of the superior ground strokes of his elders. In 1890 Campbell’s revolutionary style brought to him the Championship of the United States and was the beginning of what has come to be known as the “American type” of game. This style of attack is the chief reason why our country has won more International Tennis Championships than any other.
It was this type of game that won the Davis Cup for us in 1946. We lost the Cup in 1939 to Australia because the singles players on our team were essentially baseliners. They had sound ground strokes and excellent control, but they were content to remain in the back of the court, striving to keep the rallies going until their opponents made errors. Not so Kramer and Schroeder of the 1946 team. Harley Malcolm, the well-known Australian critic, described them as “the most aggressive netrushing players the game has ever seen in any team.” Since the start of the competition in 1900 I’ve seen many Davis Cup matches and I agree with him. That the Australians, whom impartial observers had rated as the best team in 1946, could not cope with the speed, aggressiveness, and attack thrown at them, from the first point of the series to the last, is evident from the overwhelming score: 5 matches to 0; 15 sets to 2. To win the Cup the United States team played 4 rounds, scoring 20 matches to 0, 60 sets to 5, 393 games to 185.
No country has ever approached that record in the history of Davis Cup competition. It was the result of deciding early in 1946 on a definite plan of preparation and tactics. The scheme included using Ted Schroeder, if he regained his 1942 form, in both singles and doubles against Australia. We believed we would survive the preliminary rounds against the Philippines, Mexico, New Zealand, and the winner of the European Zone (which turned out to be Sweden) without great difficulty, and that’s the way it happened. But we knew the Australian assignment would be a different matter, and to be successful an unprecedented attack of unrelenting speed and aggressiveness would be necessary. We realized that the physical condition of our players at the time of the test would have to be extraordinarily good to maintain the necessary pace and accuracy in the blistering Australian heat. I doubt if any team of athletes ever played with more attention to physical fitness than did our Davis Cup team of 1946. How well Schroeder succeeded in conditioning himself is told by his loss of weight: on leaving the Navy, in December, 1945, 172 pounds; on arriving at Melbourne, 155; and on December 26, 1946, the day he played Bromwich, 146, his correct weight when in training.2
MUCH has been said and written about the selection of Schroeder over Parker to play singles, and I am still frequently asked for my reasons. To me the choice was so obvious that I was amazed that it caused such a furor. Parker is essentially a backcourt player, while Schroeder relies on volleying and smashing from the net position. I doubt if today any player in the world can beat John Bromwich from the base line. Besides his uncanny accuracy and fine length, he has several advantages over all other players for playing a back-court game. These advantages save him much running and enable him to reach many balls that others less fortunately equipped would fail to return. In retrieving balls from either end of the base line he has to do less running than any other current player. On the right side, if the ball is near enough, he uses a two-handed grip; if the ball is too far away, he reaches with one hand and plays a conventional forehand drive. On the left he strokes with a forehand drive, as would a “southpaw.” Add to this style of play the advantage in reach enjoyed by a six-footer and the result is that he has to run much less than any opponent using a backhand drive.
All the members of our team who had seen Bromwich play in 1939 rated him an improved player in 1946, principally because of his drive from the left side. In 1939 that stroke was a defensive shot — accurate and steady, but soft and with a high trajectory. It is now an attacking weapon; flattened out and hit hard, it is perhaps his best shot. It was the opinion of our squad that he could not be beaten by steadiness — not even by Parker’s superb accuracy. We remembered the 1939 Challenge Round at Philadelphia. The score was tied at two all, with only the Parker-Bromwich match remaining to decide the winner. The stage was set for a truly great struggle, but Parker was overwhelmed — 6-0, 6-3, 6-1 — in an uninteresting match consisting chiefly of long-drawn-out rallies from the base lines, during which at all times it was evident that the Cup was lost because Bromwich could outParker Parker.
In 1942 at Forest Hills in the final round of our Championship, Schroeder defeated Parker for the National crown and a few weeks later was in the Navy. During his period of service — over three years — he played no tennis, and when he doffed his uniform in January, 1946, he was twenty-five pounds overweight, was married, had a son and no job. At that time, we had just begun to formulate plans for the 1946 Davis Cup competition, Ted was a great player in 1942 both in singles and doubles. He and Kramer were our doubles champions in 1940 and 1941. If he played as he did in those years, our chances of success would be bright indeed. In January, while he was still in uniform, I discussed the matter with him. He reluctantly asked not to be considered, because he had to get to work to support his family.
No employer was likely to give a new man a two months’ leave to play tennis in Australia or anywhere else. Furthermore, he would not be able to devote enough time to the practice and competition necessary to regain his form and physical condition. So the matter rested for several months, during which time he found a job — fortunately with a Los Angeles firm — and in the late afternoons and on week-ends he played regularly at the Los Angeles Tennis Club, whose membership bristles with fine players, the great Don Budge among them. Soon his touch started to come back and his weight began to drop. Although Budge is now a professional, he worked with Ted regularly and without compensation. Nothing can help a tennis player so much as playing against and receiving instruction from Don Budge, and it is fortunate that his invaluable services are always available to help our Davis Cup teams.
Then late in the summer the good news came. Ted’s employer not only gave him leave for the Australian trip, but urged him to go. And when Mrs. Schroeder joined in the urging, Ted capitulated. Although he had had little tournament play and could not come East for the Championship, I was confident that with a full month of intensive practice and training in Australia before the matches, he would make the grade. My confidence was strengthened by Schroeder’s defeat of Parker in the semifinals of the Pacific Southwest Championship two weeks after the National Championship.
Before the deadline came to name our singles players for the Cup matches, it was necessary to consider all these matters, together with Parker’s defeat by Tom Brown at Forest Hills, and the fact that Schroeder is a great match player with an aggressive attacking game. No important decision was reached until the matter involved had been discussed at length at a powwow in which the players took part. The vote in this case was 6 to 1. Ted justified our decision by beating Bromwich in a truly great match, during which he kept the pressure on his opponent at all times except during the fourth set, which he used as a breather after getting off to a bad start. The stroke analysis of the match tells the story better than words, Schroeder’s placements and aces totaled 55, Bromwich’s 27. Nearly all of Schroeder’s were volleys and smashes, and most of Bromwich’s were passing shots from deep court. While the Australian made fewer errors, his steadiness could not overcome that 2 to 1 margin in earned points. Once more the “American type” of game prevailed. I am sorry that Ollie Campbell wasn’t there to see his methods triumph.