The comparisons between Italy and the Netherlands in the Davis Cup go back a long way: it all began a hundred years ago.
Let's start in 1923: it was the Dutch who won. It was the first time in the cup that was then called the International Lawn Tennis Challenge, of Baron Uberto De Morpurgo, which characterized Italian tennis more than any other in the second decade of the 900th century. With his presence, the Netherlands won 5-0 in Noordwijk with Christiaan van Lennep and Arthur Diemer-Kool in their best years, but soon after the Azzurri took over, 3-2 in 1925 in Rome, 3-0 in 1931 in Turin, 3-2 in Scheveningen, in a playoff between losers of the quarter-finals of the 1933 edition.
In the post-war period, in 1953 in Scheveningen it was 5-0 with points from Giuseppe Merlo and Rolando Del Bello in singles and Marcello Del Bello and Orlando Sirola in doubles: it was the second round, as it was in 1957 also in Scheveningen. Different players for the Dutch, but the same result 5-0 with the addition of Nicola Pietrangeli in singles and doubles.
Uberto De Morpurgo
In 1972 the two selections were again on the field in San Benedetto del Tronto. Pietrangeli was still there together with a young Adriano Panatta with whom he played doubles, giving the third point to Italy: the other two were by Panatta himself and Paolo Bertolucci. Tom Okker, the best Dutch player in history, never faced the Italian team between 1968 and 1973, did not play Davis for five years, a tennis player who was number 3 in the world, semifinalist in every Slam and finalist at the 1968 US Open, winner of 40 singles titles and 68 doubles titles.
Nicola Pietrangeli. 1961
Italy had lived the period 1976-1980 with one victory and three other finals, the semi-finals of 1996 and 1997, the final of 1998. Nothing of what the Dutch achieved, who had excellent players and a Slam winner, Krajicek, but always very complex draws, except in the first round, in the quarter-finals. Then the Netherlands was also relegated and it arrived, in fact, in 2010 and the fast indoor of Zoetermeer. In 2010, Italy left the Netherlands no chance and in just two days gained access to the playoff to return to the main draw of the Davis Cup. The Azzurri take to the pitch with Seppi and Starace.
Adriano Panatta, 1978
Now it's time for our current musketeers, from Sonego to Sinner, we'll see, the Azzurri fear no one.