1978 Davis Cup Americas Zone

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The Americas Zone[1] was one of three zones of competition in the 1978 Davis Cup. As in previous years, entries from South America were to be placed in one half of the draw, while entries from North and Central America, along with South Africa, were to be placed in the other. However, Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, and the Caribbean/West Indies withdrew a week before the draw, in protest over South Africa's participation.[2]

The South Africa / United States tie, at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, became a focal point for the international opposition to South Africa's apartheid policies. In an effort to appease its critics, South Africa named Peter Lamb as one of the six members of its team, as its first-ever "coloured" player.[3] However, Lamb did not play, and his inclusion in the squad was derided as tokenism. Crowds of up to 5000 turned out in protest.[4]

South African regular Ray Moore withdrew from the team, saying "I am a South African and I intend to remain one. I neither embrace nor endorse the policy of apartheid. I do resent the interference of politics in the Davis Cup. In particular I wish to play no part in a situation which threatens to turn a sporting event ... into a political demonstration."[5] After a decade of dispute, South Africa would be excluded from the 1979 competition, and would not be allowed to compete again until 1992.

First Preliminary Round
30 October - 1 November 1977 (Montevideo)

4-6 November 1977 (Lima)

  Preliminary "Quarterfinals"
9-11 December
  First Round
15-17 December (Johannesburg)

18-20 December (Santiago)

17-19 March 1978
15-17 September
  United States    
 (bye)       United States  
          United States  
          Nashville, Tennessee (carpet)
          United States 4  
  South Africa         South Africa 1  
 (bye)       South Africa  
     (bye)     Johannesburg, South Africa
          South Africa 4
          Colombia 1  
 (bye)     Colombia     Santiago, Chile
  Colombia         United States 3
  Chile     Santiago, Chile     Chile 2
 (bye)       Chile 5  
  Peru 0     Bolivia 0     Santiago, Chile
  Bolivia 5         Chile 5  
  Uruguay 3     Montevideo, Uruguay     Uruguay 0  
  Ecuador 2       Uruguay 4
 (bye)     Brazil 1     Santiago, Chile (clay)
  Brazil         Chile 3
          Argentina 2  
 (bye)     Argentina  
  • The United States advanced to the Interzonal Zone.


  1. ^ "Reconstructed from Davis Cup Nation-by-Nation Historical Records". Retrieved 2013-09-03. 
  2. ^ "Canada heads pullout from 1978 Davis Cup". The Montreal Gazette. 
  3. ^ Jerome, Jim. "Apartheid Critics Say He's Merely a Token, but Peter Lamb's Davis Cup Runneth Over". People.com. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  4. ^ "African Activist Archive". Africanactivist.msu.edu. Retrieved 2013-09-29. 
  5. ^ "The Crisis - Google Books". Retrieved 2013-09-29 – via Google Books.