New Era (Windhoek)

Namibia: Another Good Year for Davis Cup

Windhoek — A total of 536 players from 125 nations have contested the 2013 Davis Cup by BNP Paribas in another memorable year for the competition. Czech Republic, led by Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek, became the eighth nation to win back-to-back titles after defeating Serbia 3-2 in the final in Belgrade on November 15-17.

Thirty-four-year-old Stepanek, the oldest singles player to contest a world group final, also became the first player in history to win consecutive live fifth singles rubbers in a Davis Cup final. With two victories in the Final, Novak Djokovic won seven live singles rubbers in a year for the second time.

The Davis Cup was played in 57 countries in 2013, with a total of 83 home-and-away ties and six group events held in the world group and three regional zones: Americas, Asia/Oceania and Europe/Africa.

Over 46 000 fans attended the world group final in Belgrade, bringing the total attendance for Davis Cup in 2013 to over 535 000 spectators.

It was another successful year for Davis Cup on television, with the world group final shown by 42 broadcasters in 162 territories. Host broadcaster RTS Serbia received a peak audience share of 36 per cent on the final day in Belgrade.

The Davis Cup websites in English and Spanish have shown a 10 per cent growth in 2013, with 5.3 million visits, 2.8 million unique visitors and 26.6 million page views achieved by the end of the world group final.

The competition's social media properties have seen a 100 per cent increase in users this year, with around 130,000 Twitter followers and 120,000 Facebook likes.

ITF president Francesco Ricci Bitti said: "It has been another successful year for Davis Cup, with strong player participation, good crowds, and excellent TV and media coverage. Whether competing in the world group or as a developing nation in one of the regional zones, players have continued to rise to the unique challenge of competing in a team environment in front of their home fans."

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas is the largest annual international team competition in sport with 125 nations taking part in 2013 in the ITF's centenary year. The competition is 114 years old having been founded in 1900.

The title sponsor is BNP Paribas, the official bank of the Davis Cup. International sponsors are HP (official technology sponsor), Rolex (official timekeeper), Hugo Boss (official men's fashion clothing sponsor), Adecco (official HR sponsor) and NH Hotels (official hotel). Wilson Sporting Goods (official ball) is an international partner.

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