The Davis Cup in the 1990s was dominated by the USA, Sweden and France, with the teams all looking to return to the golden form they had shown in previous decades.
The USA started the 1990s having not lifted the trophy since a 4-1 win against France in Grenoble eight years earlier. In 1990, the team fought past Czechoslovakia in the quarter-finals and Austria in the semi-finals before finding themselves up against an Australia keen to regain the title it won in 1986.
Having played his first Davis Cup match in 1988, a young Andre Agassi took to the court in St Petersburg, Florida to face Australia’s Richard Fromberg. Agassi's five set victory set up team-mate Michael Chang who made short work of Darren Cahill, leaving doubles pairing Rick Leach and Jim Pugh to get past Pat Cash and John Fitzgerald to secure the tie.
This was the first of three consecutive finals appearances for the USA. The following year, they failed to get past a French team who, under the watchful eye of captain Yannick Noah, played their way to their first Davis Cup title for 59 years. The final was a line-up worthy of any hall of fame as France's Guy Forget and Henri Leconte formed not only the singles offensive against Agassi and Pete Sampras, but also the doubles against Ken Flach and Robert Seguso. On that occasion, Agassi was the only American to win a match as the team had to settle for the runners-up place.
But 1992 gave them another chance and this time they faced Switzerland, which had made the Davis Cup final for the first time. Playing in Fort Worth, Texas, it was Agassi who once again got the USA off to a winning start with victory over Jakob Hlasek. Switzerland had defeated Brazil, France and Great Britain on its way to the final, but despite a formidable five-set battle for Marc Rosset and Hlasek against John McEnroe and Pete Sampras, it was only Rosset, men’s singles gold medallist from that year's Barcelona Olympics, who took a match off the Americans – beating two-time Roland-Garros winner Jim Courier in five sets.
Under new captain Tom Gullikson, the USA took the title again in 1995 when it beat Russia in Moscow, and then became runners-up once more in 1997 following an emphatic 5-0 defeat by Sweden in Gothenburg.
That 1997 Swedish win was part of a resurgence for the team in the latter part of the decade as they tried to rediscover the winning form of the 1980s when Sweden featured in seven consecutive finals - winning three of them.
The Swedes had already lifted the trophy in the 1990s – in 1994 – on a visit to Moscow. That year, former world No.1 Stefan Edberg played in his last Davis Cup – adding a fourth title to his six Grand Slam trophies.
Just like the USA, Sweden also had a run of three consecutive finals appearances during the decade. In 1996 they had lost out to France in a hard-fought final in Malmo that went right down to the fifth set of the fifth match between Arnaud Boetsch and Nicklas Kulti.
Sweden then followed its 1997 victory against the USA with a 4-1 win in Milan over Italy.
But there was one more dominant team in the Davis Cup during this period. Although few would remember France's run of six titles in the late 1920s and early 1930s, anyone following the competition during the 1990s would have got used to seeing the nation as a regular presence during the final stages. France took the title in 1991 and 1996, made the quarter-finals in 1992, 1993 and 1994, and rounded off the decade with a runners-up spot to an Australian team that secured a first title for 13 years, and featured a young Lleyton Hewitt playing in his first Davis Cup.