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It’s tennis, but not as you know it

It’s tennis, but not as you know it

Ahead of Britain’s Davis Cup play-off, here’s everything you need to know

Great Britain will be centre stage in Glasgow this weekend

Davis Cup: Great Britain v Uzbekistan, Friday 14 September, from 1pm, BBC RB 1 (CH 991)

If your tennis viewing only extends as far as the gentle joys of Wimbledon, it’s time to introduce you to the crash, bang and wallop of the Davis Cup.


Played throughout the year and steeped in more than a century of history, the Davis Cup is the World Cup of tennis, and this week you can watch Great Britain’s play-off tie against Uzbekistan on the BBC Red Button (CH 991).


When it comes to serving up top entertainment, there really is nothing like it. From the raucous crowds to the competition’s controversial future, here are five things to know before the Brits take to the court in Glasgow…

1. Britain can finish their campaign with a bang

In any other year, Great Britain’s play-off match against Uzbekistan would have determined who stayed in the top tier of the Davis Cup and who was relegated. But with the format of the competition changing from 2019 (more on that later), relegation is not a threat this time around. Still, with plenty of national pride at stake, the hosts will be eager to end the season with a victory.


2. The crowds are wild

Swapping ripples of applause for tidal waves of hollering, the atmosphere of a Davis Cup tie is far removed from the hushed reverence you find at Wimbledon. National pride takes over in these matches, resulting in some intense displays of heart both on the court and in the stands.


3. The Brits are alright

Kyle Edmund (pictured), Jamie Murray, Cameron Norrie… Great Britain have more than enough of the kind of talent needed to beat Uzbekistan this weekend. And that’s without the sidelined Andy Murray. If you need further proof of the team’s prowess, they were crowned Davis Cup champions just three years ago. As for their opponents, keep an eye out for top 100 player Denis Istomin. The visitors will be pinning their hopes on the 32-year-old star.


4. It’s a best-of-five showdown

Over the weekend, Great Britain and Uzbekistan will play a best-of-five match series to determine the winner. Two singles ties will be played on Friday, followed by a doubles match on Saturday. The action concludes on Sunday with both doubles and singles – but if a team moves into an unassailable lead, the remaining matches won’t be played.


5. The Davis Cup will soon be changing…

From 2019 the Davis Cup will be given a major makeover – and not everyone is happy. Instead of being played throughout the year at different locations, the tournament will transform into a one-week, one-location event held at the end of the regular tennis season. Critics argue that changing the tournament’s current format will take away the chance for players to play in front of a home crowd. Only time will tell if it works.

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