United Cup: Sydney set for exciting season start
Australian No.1 Nick Kyrgios headlines the stars competing at the United Cup in Sydney this summer.
It’s just a matter of days before the 2023 season launches with the inaugural United Cup.
Sydney welcomes some of the biggest stars in world sport in the round-robin stage at Ken Rosewall Arena, with Germany, Great Britain and USA comprising Group C, and Australia, Czech Republic and Spain competing in Group D, from 29 December – 3 January.
Nick Kyrgios is among the many people excited by the innovative mixed competition, in which men and women will have a rare opportunity to compete on the same team.
“We don’t have many events during the year where we’re both, male and female, playing in the same event together, competing for prize money, a title and representing your country all in one,” said the Australian No.1.
Fans in Sydney can expect to see some passionate performances. Group winners advance to the City Finals on Wednesday 4 January, when they face off for a place in the semifinal.
The semifinals and final will be contested in Sydney from 6-8 January, ensuring other big names also have a chance to shine in the Harbour City.
Here’s why a ticket at Ken Rosewall Arena is a must-have this summer …
No place like home
Aussie fans are in for a treat as their home team battles for inaugural United Cup glory. Spearheaded by Aussie No.1 Kyrgios, there’s also formidable talent in Alex de Minaur and Ajla Tomljanovic, who each achieved peak form in 2022. Jason Kubler, John Peers, Zoe Hives, Maddison Inglis and Sam Stosur round out the team, which will aim to maintain a proud recent history in representative format. In 2022, Australia finished runner-up in both the Billie Jean King Cup and Davis Cup competitions.
Grand Slam superstars
Sydney welcomes the most accomplished Grand Slam performer in the history of men’s tennis when Rafael Nadal takes to the court for Team Spain. The 22-time major champion is not only the all-time men’s leader in Grand Slam singles titles but also the reigning Australian Open champion. Petra Kvitova, representing the Czech Republic, is a two-time Wimbledon ladies’ singles titlist, while Stosur triumphed at the 2011 US Open. Major doubles champions competing in Sydney include Australians Stosur (with seven Grand Slam doubles titles) and Peers (with two). Additionally, Kyrgios, Alexander Zverev (Team Germany) and Madison Keys (Team USA) have all contested Grand Slam singles finals.
Circle Monday 2 January in your diary. That evening, Kyrgios faces Nadal in a tantalising Australia v Spain encounter, extending a rivalry that began in 2014 with the teenage Australian stunning the then-world No.1 in Wimbledon’s fourth round. Each of the nine matches they’ve now contested – Nadal holding a 6-3 advantage – has captured the imagination of an enthralled worldwide audience.
Other intriguing match-ups on the Sydney schedule include world No.3 Jessica Pegula v Kvitova when USA takes on the Czech Republic (on Friday 30 December) as well as Taylor Fritz v Zverev as USA meets Germany (2 January).
Next big things
Several players arrive in Sydney on the back of career-best seasons in 2022. This includes Fritz and Frances Tiafoe in an intimidating Team USA line-up. The 25-year-old Fritz cracked the world’s top 10 after lifting Indian Wells and Tokyo trophies, while Tiafoe stunned Nadal in progressing to the US Open quarterfinals. Paula Badosa (Team Spain) and Cameron Norrie (Team Great Britain) are others who achieved rankings peaks over the past year.
Some high-profile captains create a fascinating dynamic on the side of the court. All eyes will be on the Aussie leadership, which is shared between Grand Slam champions Lleyton Hewitt and Stosur. Former world No.4 Tim Henman brings an X-Factor as the captain of Great Britain, while Mischa Zverev leads Germany’s team.
A fascinating finale
Following the group stages, other top names will travel to Sydney for the semifinals beginning on 6 January. Players representing Belgium, Bulgaria, Greece (Group A), as well as Argentina, Croatia and France (Group F) will have competed in Perth, while Kazakhstan, Poland, Switzerland (Group B), plus Brazil, Italy and Norway (Group E) vied for United Cup success in Brisbane.
The winners of City Finals, as well as the best-performing country from the three City Finals runners-up, will compete in the knockout semifinals on 6 and 7 January, with the inaugural United Cup champion determined by the final on Sunday 8 January.
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.
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