So you’re just a wayward sportsfan kicking around Europe for the summer. You’ve already got plenty of plans that involve various types of booze and occasions in which to consume it, including Stoke’s Oktoberfest, the crown jewel of boozy events. The problem is twofold: you have some spare time before the Bavarian behemoth of beer festivals, and by then your body will be screaming out for respite from the good times. Cue the Davis Cup group playoffs in Austria— a way to solve both dilemmas in one swift forehand strike.
Some quick facts before we get into our breakdown comparison of the teams at hand: the Davis Cup is kind of like the World Cup of men’s tennis, only with considerably fewer bribes and considerably more grunting. Teams compete individually and in doubles to win the cup for their home country. The U.S. has the most overall victories, surprising nobody, but are followed closely for most overall wins by Australia, who kind of wish the prestige was for a less nancy-sport. And finally the funnest fact of them all: for the first time, Stoke Travel is joining We The People at the 2108 Davis Cup. That’s right, you’ve finally found a rowdy enough crowd to make spectator tennis fun!
So, to the match-up at hand. Don’t worry that you didn’t realize Austria and Australia were bitter rivals (ever since the first instances of abbreviating country names on scoreboards) because here’s Stoke Travel’s comparison of the two competitors in several categories with varying levels of relevance to tennis.
1. Tennis prowess: Australia
Australia and Austria have very different histories with tennis. Australia holds the second-most Davis Cup wins in history, including a streak of 15 wins in 18 years between 1950-1967. Austria, on the other had, has zero wins in the history of the Davis Cup. To those less savvy on sports talk, this translates to a pretty piss poor performance by the Austrians, who’ve had 81 chances so far and have failed to ever do better than that one time in 1990 when they made the semifinals.
2. Home court advantage: Austria
You’ll be watching the “rubbers” (incredibly silly way to say matches) in Austria, which is historically the home of Austrians and the Austrian tennis team. Austria therefore gets the point for this category because the Australians might get a bit frazzled after being confronted with so many people speaking German. Maybe they didn’t get what they wanted to order for lunch, maybe it’s just an air of tension created by the aggressive sounding language, but either way you can bet that the Aussies won’t have thought to add German language to their training regimen. The advantage is minimized, however, because the matches will be played on a clay court rather than grass, and the Australians are well used to dirt and clay while having likely never encountered grass before.
3. Fans: Austria
Austria has never won or even made it to the finals of the Davis Cup, but the Austrian team will likely have more fans in attendance than Australia because of basic geography. Also, Australians are likely focused on more niche sports like Australian Football and Not Being Killed by Poisonous Animals. Australia does have a large contingent of travelers and expats, however, which could even the odds in this category if mobilized in support of their racquet-wielding countrymen.
4. Number of letters in name: Australia
Perhaps the closest match-up of this contest, but Australia has the advantage here, with two letters more in the overall category and one unique letter more.
5. Number of famous people: Austria
In the category of famous legacies, Austria and Australia are relatively evenly matched, the former with just a few, and the latter claiming not very many. Off the top of our heads, we’ve got Arnold Schwarzenegger and Steve Irwin. Maybe Mozart, he was Austrian, right? Sigmund Freud was also Austrian. Okay this one goes to Austria, unless you count Adolph whatshisname, in which case you’d default the victory Down Under.
Overall Pick: Australia
While Austria does have some things going for it, those things are generally unrelated to tennis. We like Australia to win, but you’re welcome to root for Austria if you like the inclusivity of cheering on the home team.
Add the Davis Cup onto your Oktoberfest package so no matter who wins, you can celebrate/commiserate with us at the world’s largest beer festival!
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