Tennis

Nations Cup: Britain win points

In a quiet week for tennis, Great Britain picked up their first points not to be won by Andy Murray, and the USA continue their excruciatingly slow progress in pursuit of leaders Spain.

 
Britain win points - TennisReuters
 

WHAT IS NATIONS CUP?

The Nations Cup is a special ranking system that assesses the performances of tennis players of both genders from a specific country - the nation with the greatest overall success over the course of the season will be declared the Nations Cup champion.

See the 'How it works' section below for a full explanation of the scoring system.

THE STANDINGS

The week after a Grand Slam is rarely action-packed and so it proved again.

Despite three tournaments taking place - Budapest and Bastad for the women and Newport for the men - there were relatively paltry points on offer, even for the winner. The Davis Cup does not count towards the Nations Cup.

As such there are few changes in the top 20 this week.

Richard Bloomfield's run to the semi-finals in Newport not only gave Great Britain their first points to be scored by someone other than Andy Murray, but also moved them up one spot, ahead of China into 13th.

Argentina also regained their place in the top 20, jumping four places to 17, courtesy of Gisela Dulko's runners-up spot in Bastad and Brian Dabul's semi-final run in Newport.

Aravane Rezai's second tournament win of the year, in Bastad, sees France close to within nine points of the fifth-placed Czech Republic, who pick up 18 points after Lucie Safarova and Zuzana Ondrakova both reached semi-finals, in Bastad and Budapest respectively.

Agnes Szavay's home win in Budapest means Hungary make their debut in the tournament, albeit it not in the top 20 as they enter at 31st.

The USA pick up another 25 points after Mardy Fish won Newport, although the Americans still trail Spain by nearly 500 points.

Nations Cup rankings (last week's position in brackets):

1. (1) Spain -- 1729

2. (2) USA -- 1248

3. (5) Serbia --606

4. (3) Russia --487

5. (9) Czech Republic --475

6. (4) France -- 464

7. (6) Belgium --444

8. (7) Italy --367

9. (8) Switzerland -- 357

10. (11) Australia --270

11. (10) Sweden --262

12. (11) Croatia --252

13. (14) Great Britain -- 210

14. (13) China -- 202

15. (14) Germany -- 159

16. (16) Israel -- 123

17. (21) Argentina -- 118

18. (17) Austria --108

19. (18) Latvia --104

20. (19) Denmark -- 103

HOW IT WORKS

Players are awarded points for reaching the semi-finals or further of a tournament with the total number of points for each player then being added to their country's tally.

The number of points awarded are weighted not only to reflect how far a player progressed (with the tournament winner receiving more points than the runner-up and more again than the beaten semi-finalists) but also to reflect the difficulty of the tournament.

Thus a Grand Slam win will earn a player 200 points, a Masters series win 100 points and so on through the four tournament categories.

And just to add to the confusion, a country will also be awarded bonus points if they provide both finalists at a tournament.

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