Australia, Great Britain, and the reigning champions the United States have sparked interest as they have been placed in the same group for the United Cup, the primary event leading up to the Australian Open. The tournament will begin at the end of December.
The country of Serbia, represented by top-ranked player Novak Djokovic, was placed in the second pool in Perth along with China and the Czech Republic. In the same pool, Poland’s world No. 2 women’s player Iga Swiatek will compete against Spain and another yet-to-be-named qualifier next month.
In the city of Sydney, top-10 ranked players Stefanos Tsitipas and Maria Sakkari from Greece will face off against Canada and a third qualifier in Group B. Group B also includes France, Italy, and Germany, while Group C is composed of Croatia, Netherlands, and Norway.
The Monday draw at Circular Quay in Sydney centered on Group C and the grouping of three English-speaking nations in Perth.
Wally Masur, the former captain of Australia’s Davis Cup team, expressed that this could potentially mark the end of a wonderful relationship.
The team-based format for Australia has included Alex de Minaur, ranked 13th in the world, and Ajla Tomljanović. On the USA team, top 10 players Taylor Fritz and Jessica Pegula will lead, along with Cameron Norrie. For Great Britain, Dan Evans, Katie Boulter, and Cameron Norrie are listed to compete.
The upcoming tournament will feature three matches per fixture, unlike the previous edition which had five. These matches will include one men’s singles, one women’s singles, and one mixed doubles match. Each match will take place in one session, ensuring a definitive outcome for fans at the venue.
De Minaur and Boulter may potentially team up for mixed doubles as they have been dating for over two years.
According to Masur, Alex may have to play three sets against Cam Norrie and it may not be beneficial for him to then also play in the mixed event. However, having him play against Boulter would bring some excitement.
Nine out of the top 20 male singles players and five out of the top 10 female singles players in the world have been selected to participate in the upcoming tournament, which is considered a major warm-up event before the Australian Open. The qualifying rounds for the Melbourne grand slam will begin on January 11th, followed by the main tournament three days later.
The preliminary rounds and quarter-finals will take place in both Perth and Sydney. Afterwards, the semi-finals and final will be held in Sydney, with the tournament ending on January 7th.
Last year, Queensland was a location for a portion of the competition, but this year it will go back to its customary event, the Brisbane International, which begins on December 31st.
Warm-up events for the Australian Open are also taking place in Adelaide, Hobart, and Canberra.