Years ago, when I was an addicted Cricket fan and Tennis knowledge was limited only to "answering in quiz competitions", I had [stupidly] assumed that Davis Cup formed a part of the Grand Slams.
Then a couple of years earlier, I became a Tennis sponge; trying to soak up as much trivia and information that my already coupled brain would allow me to garner.
And thus, I learnt. Learnt that Davis Cup doesn't form or come in the league of Grand Slams. Its in a league of its own: neither a notch up nor a notch down and when statisticians compile records, a Davis Cup participation is on par with the Slam winnings.
Its the only main frame tennis tournament, where team play is involved and not just single, individual players and for players taking part; making an appearance in their country's national Davis Cup team is equally important as featuring in the slams.
A test of sorts to show everyone how well he can work and sustain as a team man. An opportunity to revel in the team's and in the nation's success and huddle together in sadness in case of a loss.
The format, as always in tennis is a knockout unlike other team events where, each collateral group gets more than a single chance to level and improve its performance; but also at the same time within each group tie, a team gets ample chance to prove a point.
A mere four day affair, with as much vigour and enthusiasm drawing crowds as much as any other ATP match may draw. The best example would be Roger Federer withdrawing out of his group tie against the US gave a huge blow to his zillion fans who wanted to see him in action; a disappointment nearly in proportion to the agony when he lost out on a chance to grab his 14th Down Under.
Finally, whats the purpose of me writing about the Davis Cup? What it means to me: a Cricket-turned-Tennis fan who swears by the sport now?
It means satisfaction of seeing tennis enjoying at the same time enjoy a team affair; along with a certain kind of patience that once it gets over, I don't have to wait for four agonising years like i do for Cricket World Cup.