There is something wonderful about the format of the Davis Cup. It shares two qualities with the Ryder Cup that make both events stand out. There is the team element that is otherwise absent for a sport of individuals; and there is the likelihood that the crucial match may not fall to a big star, but a more lowly-ranked player who might otherwise not feature in a major event. 2002: for Paul McGinley, read Mikhail Youzhny.<br /><br />The other factor in the Davis Cup is that the doubles is crucial. Doubles will never have the same attention on the tour as singles, but it’s position as the third rubber makes it compelling viewing. <br /><br />This weekend is the Davis Cup semis, plus the relegation playoffs. It’s the biggest weekend for team tennis on the calendar. But this is the problem with the format. The Davis Cup is spread out over the year, and consequently fails to capture the public’s imagination like the Ryder Cup does.<br /><br />The format, however, does not lend itself to a single event at the end of the season. One player might have three five-setters in three days – a punishing schedule. Perhaps holding it every 2 years, and on sucessive weekends might improve things. But until tennis sorts out the bloated calendar of events, that will never happen.<br /><br />Lleyton Hewitt deserves a special mention here. At only 23, he has just broken the record for most Davis Cup wins for Australia. When you think of the history that the Aussies have in the cup, that is one big achievement.