United Cup: Brisbane soon to welcome world’s best
The United Cup will see the return of top-level professional tennis to Brisbane for the first time since 2020, and here’s why you should get your tickets to watch it all unfold at Pat Rafter Arena.
The United Cup begins in less than 10 days, and that means the return of top-level professional tennis to Brisbane for the first time since 2020.
Following two pandemic-affected seasons, Brisbane will again host some of the world’s biggest names in the group stages of the tournament – an exciting mixed-team event kick-starting the 2023 tennis season.
Top male and female players will represent their nations, fighting to win the inaugural edition of the United Cup, the finals of which will be held in Sydney on 6-8 January.
But before that, there are seven days of sizzling group-stage action to play out in Brisbane, beginning 29 December.
Here’s why you should get your tickets to watch it all unfold at Pat Rafter Arena.
There are nine top-10 players signed on to play the inaugural United Cup. But none are ranked higher than world No.1 Iga Swiatek.
The 21-year-old from Poland scooped two major titles – Roland Garros and US Open – in an outstanding 2022 season, during which she built a 37-match winning streak. Some context: it’s the best winning streak of any WTA player this century.
Her incredible athleticism, movement, power and killer instinct have combined to make her the dominant force on tour, and it will be fascinating to see if she maintains her extraordinary level when she arrives in Brisbane.
It was not only Swiatek going from strength to strength in 2022.
Top Norwegian Casper Ruud was one match away from also becoming world No.1, reaching two major finals in 2022 and peaking at No.2 after beginning the season at No.8.
Beatriz Haddad Maia, who will headline Team Brazil in Brisbane, was ranked 88th in January yet is now world No.15.
Italy’s No.1 female player, Martina Trevisan, appeared in her first Grand Slam semifinal at Roland Garros and cracked the top 30. Her teammate Lorenzo Musetti broke through for his first two ATP titles (Hamburg, Naples) and in the second half of the year improved his ranking by 50 places.
Everywhere you look in Brisbane, there will be players carrying irresistible momentum.
In fact, both of them own three Grand Slam singles titles.
Swiatek, whose first major trophy came at Roland Garros in 2020, added her second and third in 2022 in what is now shaping as a Hall of Fame-worthy career.
Switzerland’s Stan Wawrinka is another three-time major champion bound for Brisbane; he famously won his first at AO 2014 before collecting his second in Paris (2015) and third in New York (2016).
Joining them in Brisbane are players who have are on the cusp of claiming their first Grand Slam silverware.
As well as two-time major finalist Ruud, Team Italy’s top player Matteo Berrettini was a Wimbledon finalist in 2021.
Italy, Poland and Switzerland will arguably stand out most in the Queensland capital, due to the impressive depth of their squads.
Poland is one of the few nations boasting two top-10 singles players; joining Swiatek will be 2021 Wimbledon semifinalist Hubert Hurkacz, who last year broke through for his first ATP Masters title at the Miami Open.
Wawrinka joins forces with countrywomen Belinda Bencic and Jil Teichmann, exceptionally talented ball-strikers who recently led Switzerland to its first Billie Jean King Cup trophy.
Team Italy’s three highest-ranked singles players – Berrettini, Musetti and Trevisan – all possess notable Grand Slam results on their CVs and all won tour-level titles in 2022.
Brisbane will as well host Brazil, Kazakhstan and Norway – teams also featuring dangerous players capable of leading their countries to victory.
We noted the Billie Jean King Cup heroics of Bencic and Teichmann – but that’s not the only time Switzerland’s stars have shone in their national colours.
Bencic was a singles gold medallist at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, so far the biggest achievement of her glittering career. Wawrinka, too, is an Olympic gold medallist; he combined to win doubles gold for Switzerland with Roger Federer in Beijing 2008.
Laura Pigossi and Luisa Stefani – both on Team Brazil at the United Cup – combined to win an emotional bronze medal for their country in women’s doubles at Tokyo 2020. It was Brazil’s first ever tennis medal in Olympic competition.
Berrettini and Musetti were among the singles spearheads who guided Italy into the Davis Cup semifinals of 2022, while Alexander Bublik has built a 9-4 singles record in the team competition, helping improve Kazakhstan’s global ranking to No.11.
One thing common to many players set to star in Brisbane is the exciting manner in which they play.
For fans of one-handed backhands, Wawrinka and Musetti will hit all the high notes.
Those who appreciate power will be blown away by the force of Berrettini’s serve and forehand.
Few players burn rubber like Swiatek, whose screeching sneakers – as she slides on hard courts – inspire gasps.
Lefties are represented by Haddad Maia and Teichmann, who offer opponents a different look with their southpaw style.
There’s also the relentless, heavy topspin of Ruud. The all-court prowess of Bencic. The unorthodox magic of Bublik. The fiery fighting spirit of Bublik’s fellow Kazakh Yulia Putintseva.
With such wonderful variation in game style and approach, the players representing their nations at the United Cup in Brisbane are sure to deliver many memorable experiences.
Get your tickets
Tickets for adults start from $40. Visit Ticketmaster now to secure your seats at the United Cup this summer.
> Visit the United Cup website to learn more about this exciting new event.
Book online, play today: Visit play.tennis.com.au to get out on court and have some fun!