3 July 2014
Three South African tennis greats, including two members of the 1974 Davis Cup winning team, received Davis Cup Commitment Awards at the Wimbledon Championships in London this week.
Cliff Drysdale, Wayne Ferreira and Frew McMillan were handed their awards, which go to players who have competed in 20 Davis Cup home or away ties during their career, by International Tennis Federation (ITF) president Francesco Ricci Bitti and Tennis South Africa (TSA) president Gavin Crookes.
Only four South Africans have won a Davis Cup Commitment Award. Apart from Drysdale, Ferreira and McMillan, Rik de Voest was recognised earlier this year at the Euro Africa Group 1 tie against Lithuania.
Davis Cup title winners
Drysdale and McMillan were part of the South African team in 1974 that claimed South Africa’s only title in the international team competition. McMillan, with 28, holds the record for the most Davis Cup ties played by a South African.
Among Ferreira’s career records is being the South African to have played Davis Cup for the most years, with 14, and winning the most rubbers, 41.
The Davis Cup Commitment Award is presented by the ITF to players who have shown long-standing dedication to representing their country in the prestigious competition. Each Award recipient has competed in a minimum of 20 home or away ties or 50 ties at any level of the competition (including Zone Group Events) over their career.
About the awards
The Award was conceived as part of the ITF’s 2013 Centenary celebrations and was launched at the 100th Davis Cup Final in 2012.
A total of 320 players have met the criteria, with awards presented at ties throughout the year. All recipients are recognised on an honours board at the ITF headquarters and in a dedicated section on the official Davis Cup website.
The record holder for the most ties played in all levels of the competition is Domenico Vicini from San Marino, who has so far played a total of 89 ties. With 66 ties played, Italy’s Nicola Pietrangeli heads the elite list of players who have competed in 20 home or away ties for their country.
The current South African Davis Cup team will play in Europe/Africa Zone Group II next year.