The inaugural United Cup takes place in Australia from the 29th of December to the 8th of January. But what is the United Cup?
What is the United Cup?
The United Cup is a mixed-team competition, sort of like the Hopman Cup. The tournament will be played across three cities, Sydney (Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre), Brisbane (Queensland Tennis Centre), and Perth (RAC Arena). Interestingly, the Sydney and Brisbane competitions will be played on outdoor hard courts and the Perth one on indoor hard courts. All tournaments will use Dunlop Australian Open balls.
Each city will host two groups of three countries competing in a round-robin format. Played over two days, ties will be comprised of two ATP and two WTA singles matches between the No.1-ranked players and No.2-ranked players. And one mixed doubles match. The mixed doubles match will decide the winner if the tie is locked at 2-2 after singles.
The winner of each of the two groups will advance to the City Final to determine which team will advance to the United Cup Final Four. The fourth team will be the City Final runner-up with the best record from its three matches. There will then be two semi-finals and a final in Sydney.
How have the groups been drawn?
Six countries qualified based on the ATP ranking of their No.1 player. Six countries qualified based on the WTA ranking of their No.1 singles player, and six countries qualified based on the best-combined ranking of their No.1 ATP and WTA players. Australia received entry as the host nation.
The top six seeds are No.1 Greece, No.2 Poland, No.3 United States, No.4 Spain, No.5 Italy, and No.6 France.
Players and Prize money
Who is playing and where?
The field is pretty strong such as Iga Swiatek, Rafael Nadal, and Caroline Garcia. The all-star duo of Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas lead the top-seeded Greek squad, while World No.3 Jessica Pegula, Madison Keys, and Taylor Fritz head up a strong United States team.
What are the prize money and rankings points on offer?
The total prize money pool for the United Cup is $15 million, split equally between the ATP and WTA. Individual prize money is based on ranking, match wins, and team wins. No points will be awarded for mixed doubles. A player can earn a maximum of 500 points for the week, depending on their ranking.
For a full breakdown of points and prize money, click here.
Will you be watching the United Cup and do you think it will last as a tournament or be similar to the now dead ATP Cup?