Novak Djokovic, the No. 1 player in the men’s tennis rankings, and Iga Swiatek, the No. 2 player in the women’s rankings, will be the headliners at the United Cup in Australia to start the new year.
The event is scheduled for Dec. 29 through Jan. 7 in Sydney and Perth. The joint WTA-ATP venture will offer a prize pool of at least $15 million (Australian dollars) and ranking points on each tour.
Eighteen countries will compete, each with a male and female player. Automatic qualification went to the top five nations in terms of WTA ranking, the top five nations in terms of ATP ranking and then the next six nations in terms of combined ranking.
The last two teams will be added based on the Nov. 20 rankings. Each nation will send two men’s singles players, two women’s singles players, a men’s doubles specialist and a women’s doubles specialist.
Each match will include a women’s singles match, a men’s singles match and a mixed doubles match.
The defending champion team is the United States, which will include No. 4 Jessica Pegula and No. 10 Taylor Fritz. The U.S. squad is seeded third.
The top seed is Poland with No. 2 Swiatek, the reigning French Open champion, and No. 11 Hubert Hurkacz. The second seed will be Greece with No. 6 Maria Sakkari and No. 7 Stefanos Tsitsipas, and the fourth seed will be France with No. 10 Caroline Garcia and No. 24 Adrian Mannarino.
Other countries participating are Serbia (with Djokovic, the reigning Australian Open and U.S. Open champion), the Czech Republic (with reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova), Croatia, Canada, China, the Netherlands, Norway, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Italy and host Australia.
Tournament director Stephen Farrow said in a statement, “The United Cup holds a unique position in global tennis, with the world’s best men and women representing their country at the highest level. For 2024 we are delighted to welcome teams with both massive star power and great depth. …
“We can’t wait to see some exciting matchups between such a high-calibre playing field, and lots of entertaining tennis in what promises to be a blockbuster event.”
–Field Level Media