Three-time champions Germany head to Madrid for this year’s Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals hoping to win their first title in over a quarter of a century.

They made their debut in the competition over a century ago – and from the 1930s onwards the amateur tennis legend Gottfried von Cramm was their leading light. He still holds the record for Germany’s most wins in the Davis Cup, with 82 victories in the book, and 58 of them coming in singles. One-time Davis Cup captain Wilhelm Bungert, who played in the competition’s final in 1970, has played the most ties for the country, across a 14-year career in the tournament.

Their last Davis Cup trophy came in 1993 – but they will hope their crushing triumph to secure qualification bodes well for the Finals. They beat Hungary 5-0 in the Qualifiers, with singles wins for both world No. 3 and 2018 ATP Finals champions Alexander Zverev and the veteran former Wimbledon quarter-finalist Philipp Kohlschreiber, plus a doubles win for Tim Puetz and Jan-Lennard Struff.

Germany will head to Madrid ready to face third seeds Argentina and Chile in the group stages, with captain Michael Kohlmann leading the way. They will also hope that plenty of fans make the relatively short journey to Spain to support them – with great soccer teams on both the men’s and women’s side, they know how to cheer their country on to international success.

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© Paul Zimmer

© Paul Zimmer