International competitions had been staged for some time before the first Davis Cup match in 1900. From 1892, England and Ireland had been competing in an annual national-team-based competition, similar to what would become the standard Davis Cup format, mixing single and doubles matches, and in 1895 England played against France in a national team competition. During Larned's tour of the British Isles in 1896, where he competed in several tournaments including the Wimbledon Championships, he was also a spectator for the annual England vs. Ireland match. He returned to exclaim that Britain had agreed to send a group of three to the US the following summer, which would represent the first British lawn tennis "team" to compete in the U. S. Coincidentally, some weeks before Larned left for his British tour, the idea for an international competition was discussed also between leading figures in American lawn tennis - one of whom was tennis journalist E. P. Fischer - at a tournament in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. Dwight F. Davis was in attendance at this tournament, and was thought to have got wind of the idea as it was discussed in the tournament's popular magazine, and Davis's name was mentioned as someone who might 'do something for the game … put up some big prize, or cup'. Larned and Fischer met on several occasions that summer and discussed the idea of an international match to be held in Chicago the following summer, pitting six of the best British players against six of the best Americans, in a mixture of singles and doubles matches. This was discussed openly in two articles in the Chicago Tribune, but did not come to fruition.