At the United Cup, a brand-new mixed teams competition, Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek will begin their preparations for the 2023 Australian Open. The Spanish great may have to face Nick Kyrgios in a match that has the potential to be a blockbuster matchup.
The event, which will be hosted in Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney as a significant part of the buildup to the season’s first Grand Slam, has replaced the men’s ATP Cup and will provide US$15 million in prize money as well as rankings points to the winners.
Starting on December 29, the competition will last over eleven days and include eighteen different nations. Each team will consist of four men and four women, and there will be 500 points available for WTA and ATP rankings.
“The playing group is really enthused about the United Cup, and that’s proven in the high quality and level of those who’ve committed to the event,” tournament director Stephen Farrow said Thursday. “That’s confirmed in the high quality and class of those who’ve committed to the event.”
Alongside the 13th-ranked Paula Badosa, world number two and 22-time Grand Slam winner Rafael Nadal will lead Spain’s squad in Sydney. Nadal is the reigning champion of the Australian Open and is one of his 22 Grand Slam wins. But the current number one player in Spain, Carlos Alcaraz, will not be competing.
They were placed in Group D alongside Britain and Australia, which was dominated by Kyrgios.
While the world’s number three Jessica Pegula is competing for the United States with Madison Keys, Frances Tiafoe, and Taylor Fritz, the number one-ranked Swiatek will be leading Poland’s charge in Brisbane alongside Hubert Hurkacz.
Group C, which will be located in Sydney, will include the United States of America, Germany, and the Czech Republic.
Caroline Garcia, who just defeated Aryna Sabalenka to win the season-ending WTA Finals on Monday, is the big name player for France, which will compete in Perth against Croatia and Argentina. Garcia just won the title by defeating Sabalenka.
Maria Sakkari, who is rated sixth, is the only female woman in the top 10 who will be competing. She will be a part of a powerful Greek team seeded one with Stefanos Tsitsipas, who is ranked third in the world and will also start his year in Perth.
Other top-10 players, including as Sabalenka, Ons Jabeur, and Coco Gauff, have chosen to start their seasons at other tournaments, most likely the Adelaide International, which is a combined ATP and WTA competition that takes place at the same time as the Australian Open.
Other famous players that will be competing in the United Cup include Casper Ruud of Norway, who is now ranked fourth in the world, and Alexander Zverev of Germany, who is aiming to make his comeback from a catastrophic ankle injury in the month of December.
From December 29th to January 4th, the cities of Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney will each host two groups of three different nations in a round-robin style. Each match will include of two men’s and two women’s singles matches, as well as one mixed doubles match.
Winners of the group rounds in each city will compete against one another for a position in one of three semi-finals to be held in Sydney. They will be joined in this competition by the team that finished in second place overall in the group stages.
From the 16th to the 29th of January, Melbourne plays host to the Australian Open.