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PICK OF THE DAY; Davis Cup Sky Sports Xtra, 3pm.

THIS week I've been learning about the origins of the Davis Cup, writes James Milton.

I'll be able to bore everbody I know so much that they'll have to stick drawing pins into my cheeks to shut me up.

I'd always vaguely assumed that the Davis Cup was named after Hollywood legend Bette Davis.

I'm such a silly sausage sometimes. It actually takes its name from Dwight F. Davis. I don't know what the 'F' stood for but I hope it's something apt like 'Footfault' or 'Forty-love'.

Anyway, when Dwight was a thrusting young buck at Harvard University back in 1899, he arranged the first Davis Cup, between the US and Great Britain.

Not content with launching the world's premier team tennis event, Davis went on to become the US Secretary of War and then Governor-General of the Phillipines.

It just goes to show how much a man can achieve if he doesn't spend all day looking up tedious tennis trivia on Wikipedia.

This year, it's La Copa Davis, as Argentina meet Spain on an indoor carpet surface. I hope they don't scuff it up - their mothers will be livid. And no muddy trainers on court, either.

Argentina's David Nalbandian is certainly not underestimating the magnitude of the occasion.

"If we win the Davis Cup, there will be a before and an after," was Nalbandian's faintly apocalyptic quote earlier in the week.

Presumably just before he began stockpiling corned beef, condensed milk and guns, and boarded himself up in a hut in the woods.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Nov 21, 2008
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