A new event is about to kick off the upcoming tennis season. For the first time this December, the United Cup will debut—a mixed-gender team competition that will take place as one of the first events in the global calendar to begin the 2023 season. With the teams, groups and captains now revealed, several countries have put together strong squads, with a range of past and current champions participating. We look at the makeup of this event and preview the participants.
Understanding the Format of the United Cup
The United Cup is a new event and will take place for the first time from Thursday 29th December 2022 to Sunday 8th January 2023 in Australia.
The tournament will be played across three Australian cities—Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney—and will feature mixed gender teams representing their countries. Each city will host three teams who play a round robin format, where two men’s singles matches, two women’s singles matches, and a mixed-doubles match will take place.
Teams that top their groups will claim a spot in the semifinals, with the next best side from the three groups making up the fourth semifinal spot. Teams will travel to Sydney, where the semifinals and finals will take place.
Team Captains Feature Multiple Past Champions
The teams and captains have been named ahead of the 29th December start for the United Cup, and there are plenty of high profile champions and past champions representing their countries.
For Australia, former World No.1 Lleyton Hewitt and Grand Slam champion Sam Stosur will co-leader the team. Three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka will captain Team Switzerland, while Alexander Bublik will lead Kazakhstan. Rafael Nadal and Paula Badosa will take the court for Spain under the leadership of Marc Lopez, where they will be joined in Sydney by Team Great Britain who is captained by Tim Henman and represented by Cam Norrie. Also featuring in the United Cup are Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz for Poland.
The United Cup event will replace the ATP Cup tournament and is expected to attract good crowds over the holiday season for Australia.
Favourites to Win the United Cup
Looking at the teams that have been compiled ahead of the United Cup in late December, there are several early favourites to take out the inaugural tournament.
With 22-time Grand Slam champion and the in-form Paula Badosa, Spain have a strong side that will have a very good shot at making the semifinals, if not further. Australia will of course be home favourites, and with the leadership of Lleyton Hewitt who is becoming an experienced mentor through his involvement in the Davis Cup as well as the crowds behind them, have a good shot at progressing.
Those who want to bet on tennis and other sports can head to Betting.com, where you’ll find Poland are also favourites to make a deep run in the inaugural United Cup. With men’s Top 10 player Hubert Hurkacz as well as women’s World No.1 Iga Swiatek, Poland has a strong team that can dominate in singles and mixed doubles.