Davis Cup Look Back: 1936 Last British Victory

The Davis Cup final in 1936 took place over the weekend of 25th - 28th July on the hallowed turf of Wimbledon Centre Court. The British team consisted of Fred Perry, Bunny Austin, Patrick Hughes and Raymond Tuckey. In stark contrast, the Australians only sent two players, Jack Crawford & Adrian Quist. In what was called "The Challenge Round", this final between two of the biggest tennis nations on the grass courts of Wimbledon, just a few weeks after Perry had won his third Wimbledon crown was full of talent and thrilling matches. The British team not only had the reigning Wimbledon singles champion, but also the Wimbledon champions in the men's doubles in Hughes and Tuckey.

Day One - Singles

The first rubber saw Austin take on Crawford. The Australian came out the better player in the first set and broke the Brit to take the set 6-4. Austen soon got into his game however and soon levelled up the rubber taking the next set 6-3. The Aussie had no answer to the game of Austen in the next two sets as the Brit upped the ante and took the final two sets of the first rubber 6-1, 6-1. The Brits had the lead one rubber to nil.

The second rubber saw Perry face Quist. The Brit continued where his compatriot had left off, and took the first set from the Aussie with ease, serving up a breadstick set. The next set saw a fightback by Quist as the Aussie managed to get a break of serve on the Brit and level up the rubber taking the second set 6-4. With a very close third set following, in which Perry managed to secure the vital break of serve and take the set 7-5. The fourth set again showed why Perry was a three time consecutive Wimbledon singles champion, taking the set with comparative ease 6-2.

Day Two - Doubles

With the Brits leading two rubbers to nil, Hughes and Tuckey stepped up to face the Australians. The reigning Wimbledon doubles champions started slowly and were broken by the Australians to go 6-4 down. The second set saw the Brits starting to make in roads into the Australian service games and break to level the rubber sealing the set 6-2. The third set was a very close affair with the Australians finally securing the vital break to take the set 7-5. The fourth set was another very close affair and with no tiebreaks in sets (this was not brought in until the 1970's), the set went on for quite a while (not by John Isner standards) and finally ended with the Australians taking the win 10-8 to draw one rubber back.

Day Three - Reverse Singles

With the Brits still leading the tie but it not being over, the final day saw the first singles rubber (third singles rubber overall), with Austin and Quist. Despite having already played over two days, the Aussie was not going to let that phase him. Taking the first set with a crucial break of serve the Aussie led 6-4. The Brit was not giving in either and took advantage in the second set to level the rubber at one set all, as he secured a 6-3 set. The third set proved to be crucial and close with both players hanging to serve until the end of the set when Quist finally broke Austin to take the set 7-5. The fourth set proved to be comfortable for the Aussie as the resistance of Austin finally wained, the Aussies took the set 6-2, the tie was all square.

The final rubber saw Perry against Crawford. The Wimbledon champion set about trying to secure the win for Britain in the final and deciding rubber. The Brit meant business as he took the first set with a comfortable 6-2 win. Despite trying all he could, the Australian was unable to do anything against the Perry game plan, and soon the tie was over, with Britian victorious in straight sets to win the final, three rubbers to two. This was the last time Britian won the Davis Cup, they last reached the final in 1978 when they finished runners-up.

On Friday, the British team consisting of Andy Murray, Jamie Murray, Dom Inglot, James Ward* & Kyle Edmund* will take on Belgium to try and end the 79 year wait.

*Either Ward or Edmund will be the second singles player, the draw will take place on Thursday and the British second singles player will be established before this takes place.*

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