Tennis World Cup
This summer on Tennis World Cup, a new tennis competition dubbed the United Cup will start off the season. So, what exactly is it, and why should you be concerned?
What exactly is the World Cup?
The United Cup is a new competition that includes men and women from 18 nations, replacing the men-only Tennis World Cup, which was contested for the previous three years. Each team will consist of up to four men and four women, with four singles matches (two men’s and two women’s) and a mixed doubles match.
Round-robin matches will be held in three locations, with Brisbane, Sydney, and Perth each hosting two groups of three nations from December 29 to January 4, followed by the top four meeting in Sydney from January 6 to 8. So each group of three nations is like a Tennis World Cup pool, with the winner of one pool in a city facing off against the winner of the other pool in that city.
The winners from each city, together with the next-best-performing team from all three locations, then go to Sydney to compete in what are effectively semi-finals and a grand final.
Who will be taking part?
We don’t know the specifics yet, but Australia will undoubtedly field a squad. The top six men’s and women’s players from each country on the Tennis World Cup and WTA rankings will choose the first 12 nations to compete. “The remaining six teams will qualify based on the best combined rating of the highest-ranked men’s and women’s players from the same nation,” added organizers.
For example, Spain is very well represented at the top of the rankings, with men’s world number one and two Carlos Alcaraz and Rafael Nadal, as well as four additional players in the ATP top 40 and women’s world number 12 Paula Badosa at the Tennis World Cup.
So they’d be in the top 12, but Greece has the fifth-ranked men’s and women’s players (Stefanos Tstitsipas and Maria Sakkari), but no one else in the top 100. As a result, they may be one of the last six countries.
After the draw the day before, tickets will go on sale on November 11.
Isn’t this similar to the disastrous Hopman Cup?
Both yes and no.
Yes, in the sense that it is a mixed-gender event that will be played (at least partially) in Perth. However, by the conclusion of the Tennis World Cup, it had devolved into a hit-or-miss affair, replete with all the edges-sanded-off Novak Djokovic “comedy” you could wish for.
The United Cup offers ranking points for both men and women, as well as $US15 million ($23.2 million), implying that it will draw elite talent and that the matches will be competitive.
What are the players’ thoughts?
Many tennis players on Tennis World Cup, particularly Australian star Nick Kyrgios, have expressed appreciation for the chance to play in a team setting after decades of competing as an individual. “As a tennis player, you’re typically out there by yourself, and it’s often about you,” former Australian player Casey Dellacqua said.
In the past, participating in team competitions meant earning little or no ranking points or passing up possibilities to earn bigger wages elsewhere at the Tennis World Cup. With 500 ranking points on offer (the same as several top singles events throughout the year) and large stacks on the table, there’s no reason the United Cup shouldn’t draw elite players.
“I believe it has been lacking from our schedule for some time, and I like seeing men and women playing on the same court. It’s something I’m really looking forward to “Andy Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, said. Murray also said that it may be excellent news for the Australian Open, which begins a week after the final of the United Cup.
“I believe that bringing many of the best players on both the men’s and women’s sides to Australia early and practicing for the Australian Open will be very advantageous for the whole summer, particularly the Australian Open.”