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Kyrgios ends Aussie grudge for ‘special’ moment

Nick Kyrgios said he’s ready to lead the Australian contingent at the inaugural United Cup, despite being absent in his nation’s recent tilt at the Davis Cup.

The 27-year-old gave some pretty strong comments regarding his lack of attendance in the men’s team tennis event, and suggested that he was under-appreciated by audiences back home.

“Maybe if Australia embraced me a little bit more, I would play it and bring home the trophy,” he said earlier this month.

Watch Nick Kyrgios and Team Australia take on the world in the United Cup, live and exclusive on 9Now and Stan Sport.

“It’s not always easy for me to erase everything in Australia that’s said negatively about me or my family.

“You don’t need that – so it’s interesting that they really want me to play, but are always criticalising.”

Despite that, he will follow up in the new mixed gender tournament, which begins on Thursday in three different cities around Australia.

“There’s nothing better, to play the Australian summer is one of my favorite times of the year,” Kyrgios said ahead of the United Cup.

“Obviously being home, but being able to play in Sydney, in front of the home fans, my family, my friends, there’s nothing more that I love.”

Australia will begin group play against Great Britain in Sydney, with Kyrgios taking on Cameron Norrie. He’ll then face Rafael Nadal on January 2 when the host nation takes on Spain.

“To be honest I’ve never really played that great in Sydney, but I’m hoping I’m going to change that narrative at the start of the year,” Kyrgios said.

“Just playing in Australia in general is special. The tour is a long grind and it’s rarely in Australia, so I’m definitely not going to take it for granted.”

Ahead of its inaugural running, here’s everything you should know about the United Cup.

Watch Nick Kyrgios and Team Australia take on the world in the United Cup, live and exclusive on 9Now and Stan Sport.

What is the United Cup?

The United Cup is a round-robin tennis tournament, pitting players from 18 countries against each other across both men’s and women’s singles, as well as mixed doubles.

United Cup groups drawn

Which nations and players are competing?

Six nations have earned their place based on the placement of their top-ranked male player on the ATP rankings, six on the basis of the top female player on the WTA rankings, and the remaining six via a combination of the two.

Group A: Greece, Bulgaria, Belgium

Group B: Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Poland

Group C: USA, Czech Republic, Germany

Group D: Australia, Great Britain, Spain

Band: Italy, Brazil, Norway

Group F: France, Argentina, Croatia

Nine of both the men’s and women’s top 20 in the world and plenty of other stars will be competing, including: Iga Swiatek, Casper Ruud, Matteo Berrettini, Rafael Nadal, Paula Bados, Nick Kyrgios, Alex De Minaur, Alja Tomljanovic, Francis Tiafoe , Stefanos Tsitsipas, Maria Sakkari, Caroline Garcia, and Grigor Dimitrov.

When is the United Cup?

Group play gets underway on Thursday, December 29 and runs until Wednesday, January 4 with the finals running from Friday, January 6 to Sunday, January 8.

Where is the United Cup?

Group play will be held simultaneously across three cities with Groups A and F in Perth at RAC Arena, Groups B and E in Brisbane at Pat Rafter Arena, and Groups C and D in Sydney at Ken Rosewall Arena – the latter will also host the finals .

How does the tournament work?

Each nation will play the other two in its group, with each tie settled across two singles matches of each gender, and a mixed doubles match.

The group winners in each city (A vs F, B vs E, C vs D) will face off with each of the three winners, as well as the best-performing loser, advancing to the finals.

How can I watch the United Cup?

The United Cup will be live and exclusive on Nine, 9Now and Stan Sport.

Watch Nick Kyrgios and Team Australia take on the world in the United Cup, live and exclusive on 9Now and Stan Sport.

What is the prizemoney?

The tournament has a prize pool of $22.5 million, split evenly across the WTA and ATP players.

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