Aussies draw ‘powerhouse’ rival in new Cup

Australia will face off against Spain and Great Britain in the group stages of the inaugural United Cup – a new mixed tennis tournament to be played Down Under this summer.

The team competition format is a round-robin tournament that includes entries from tennis’ top-ranked countries.

Of the 18 countries involved, each tie will comprise two men’s and two women’s singles matches and one mixed doubles match.

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Top-ranked Aussies Nick Kyrgios and Ajla Tomljanovic will captain the green and gold, while fan favorites Alex de Minaur, Jason Kubler, John Peers, Zoe Hives, Maddison Inglis and Samantha Stosur complete the rest of Team Australia.

The tournament will be played across Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from December 29 to January 4, in the lead up to next year’s Australian Open. Each city will host two groups of three countries.

The winners of each group – with the addition of the best performing team from the group stage – will then face off, with the city winners advancing to the final four which will be held in Sydney from January 6-8.

“The United Cup is a historic moment for tennis, a historic moment for our sport,” United Cup tournament director Stephen Farrow said.

“For over 130 years the very best male and female tennis players have traveled the world playing this beautiful game and now they will compete together – in 18 international teams – for the very first time for equal points, for equal prizemoney, on a fantastic global start to the tennis calendar.”

United Cup Official Draw (16 of 18 teams named)

Brisbane

Group B: poland [2]Switzerland, Combined 6 TBD

Group E: Italy [5]Brazil, Norway

Perth

Group A: Greece [1]Belgium, ATP 6 TBD

Group F: Spain [6]Croatia, Argentina

sydney

Group C: United States [3]Germany, Czech Republic

Group D: Spain [4]Australia, Great Britain

“What a massive field Sydney has,” former Australian tennis pro Casey Dellacqua said of the city’s allowances.

“Talking to Australia, [it’s] very exciting with Nick (Kyrgios), Alex (de Minaur) and also Ajla Tomljanovic, who had a great year at back-to-back quarter-finals in grand slams at Wimbledon and the US Open.

“With Rafael Nadal and Jessica Pegula for the United States as well, it’s a massive line-up in Sydney.”

“That’s pretty enormous when you look at the depth of the United States, and obviously Spain who represent with such pride, I had them as my top favourites,” Aussie tennis legend Wally Masur added.

“And Australia is such a well-balanced team and they’re all stacked in the one city.

“Let’s not forget Alexander Zverev, he’s the No.1 for Germany and No.2 in the world, and Great Britain are very strong on the men’s side too, so that’s pretty delightful for the Sydney fans.”

The top six WTA ranking-qualified countries, top five ATP ranking-qualified countries and the top five combined entry countries have been admitted to the competition.

The final two remaining countries (one ATP and one combined entry) will be accepted into the competition on November 21, based on the rankings published on that date.

The event will offer more than $23 million in prize money and up to 500 ATP and 500 WTA rankings points.

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