Putting an ‘I’ in ‘team

The Emmerson Papers

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To the strains of The Proclaimers and the cheers of the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, Great Britain reached the Davis Cup final this weekend with a 3-2 win over Australia. Commentator Andrew Castle was excited, and rightly: it’s an achievement of world-historical magnitude. Not since 1936 have GB won a Davis Cup, and their most recent journey to the final round was as far back as 1978, when wooden racquets and Swedes named Bjorn still ruled the sport.

The Davis Cup is a team competition, but in getting this far, Britain have pushed the word ‘team’ to its logical limits. Last year, the twin talents of Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka propelled Switzerland to the title. In 2012 and 2013, Tomas Berdych and Radek Stepanek chipped in for the Czech Republic. In 2011, Rafael Nadal, David Ferrer, Fernando Verdasco and Feliciano López stepped up for Spain. This year, GB have…

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