Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the world's largest annual international team competition in sport with 123 nations entering in 2012.
The prestigious ITF event, which is one of the cornerstones of the tennis calendar, gives players the chance to represent their country in an otherwise individual sport.
Founded by Dwight Davis in 1900, the Davis Cup began as a challenge match between USA and British Isles, which was held at the Longwood Cricket Club in Boston. Davis himself played in the inaugural tie, steering his country to the first of many titles.
From its inception, Davis Cup has attracted the top players of each generation, from former legends such as Fred Perry, Bill Tilden, Rene Lacoste, Rod Laver, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe, to latter day stars such as Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
The current World Group format was adopted in 1981, whereby 16 nations contest a knock-out draw over four weekends during the year to decide who is crowned champion. The remaining nations are split into three regional Zones, with promotion and relegation up for grabs on an annual basis between all Groups.
The start of the World Group also coincided with NEC becoming the competition's Title Sponsor, a partnership that lasted 20 years. BNP Paribas took over the role in 2002 and remain Davis Cup's Title Sponsor to this day. The other current partners are Adecco, HP, Hugo Boss, NH Hoteles, Rolex and Wilson.
The competition celebrated its 100th Final in 2012, which also marked the start of the ITF's Centenary Year. Czech Republic overcame Spain 3-2 in a dramatic contest that went down to the wire at the O2 Arena in Prague. The final also saw the launch of the Davis Cup Commitment Award to recognise long-standing dedication.
USA are the most successful Davis Cup nation, having lifted the trophy 32 times. The Americans are closely followed by Australia on 28, while France and Great Britain are in equal third place with nine wins each.
For more information about Davis Cup by BNP Paribas, including drawsheets, results, news and photos, visit the competition's official website.
World Group first round 1-3 February
- Canada 3-2 Spain, Vancouver
- Italy 3-2 Croatia, Turin
- Belgium 2-3 Serbia, Charleroi
- USA 3-2 Brazil, Jacksonville, FL
- France 5-0, Rouen
- Argentina 5-0 Germany, Buenos Aires
- Kazakhstan 3-1 Austria, Astana
- Switzerland 2-3 Czech Republic, Geneva
World Group quarterfinals 5-7 July
- Canada 3-1 Italy, Vancouver
- USA 1-3 Serbia, Boise
- Argentina 3-2 France
- Kazakhstan 1-3 Czech Republic, Astana
World Group semifinals 13-15 September
- Serbia v Canada, tbc
- Czech Republic v Argentina, tbc
World Group play-offs 13-15 September
- Spain v Ukraine, tbc
- Netherlands v Austria, tbc
- Croatia v Great Britain, tbc
- Switzerland v Ecuador, tbc
- Germany v Brazil, tbc
- Poland v Australia, tbc
- Belgium v Israel, tbc
- Japan v Colombia, tbc
World Group Final 15-17 December
2012 Dates / Results
World Group first round 10-12 February
- Spain 5-0 Kazakhstan, Oviedo
- Austria 3-2 Russia, Wiener Neustadt
- Canada 1-4 France, Vancouver
- Switzerland 0-5 USA, Fribourg
- Czech Republic 4-1 Italy, Ostrava
- Serbia 4-1 Sweden, Nis
- Japan 2-3 Croatia, Hyogo
- Germany 1-4 Argentina, Bamberg
World Group quarterfinals 6-8 April
- Spain 4-1 Austria, Castellon
- France 2-3 USA, Roquebrune
- Czech Republic 4-1 Serbia, Prague
- Argentina 4-1 Croatia, Buenos Aires
World Group semifinals 14-16 September
- Spain 3-1 USA, Gijon
- Argentina 2-3 Czech Republic, Buenos Aires
World Group play-offs 14-16 September
- Kazakhstan 3-1 Uzbekistan, Astana
- Germany 3-2 Australia, Hamburg
- Japan 2-3 Israel, Tokyo
- Belgium 5-0 Sweden, Brussels
- Canada 4-1 South Africa, Montreal
- Brazil 5-0 Russia, Sao Jose do Rio Preto
- Italy 4-1 Chile, Napoli
- Netherlands 2-3 Switzerland, Amsterdam
World Group Final 16-18 November
- Czech Republic v Spain