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Rubber banned

ESPN staff
February 15, 2014
Andy Murray's victories over Sam Querrey and Donald Young helped Great Britain beat the United States 3-1 in the Davis Cup © AP
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Why was the final rubber of the United States-Great Britain Davis Cup tie not played? Thought they always completed all five ... asked David Bookbinder

I saw one suggestion that the fifth rubber - which was inconsequential once Andy Murray clinched a winning 3-1 lead for Britain on the third day - was not played to allow the American team to watch the Superbowl.

But sadly that story, while quite fun, turns out not to be true. I asked Simon Briggs, the tennis correspondent of the Daily Telegraph, why it wasn't played, and he told me: "If they go to four sets in the penultimate match, they don't play the final rubber. If it's only three sets then they do."

It's done to ensure that ticket-holders get to see at least four sets of tennis on the final day. Of course, if the match is still all-square at 2-2 then the last match is played out in all its best-of-five-sets finery.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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