A star-studded field has been named for the United Cup, with Thursday afternoon's draw ceremony placing countries in groups in various major Australian cities for the inaugural edition of the competition.
The United Cup is an annual mixed team event set to be played in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from Thursday 29 December to Sunday 8 January 2023.
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Entries from the top 16 countries were announced earlier on Thursday, with Team Greece, led by world No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas and  Maria Sakkari named as the top seeds.
Greece was placed in Group A, which will play its matches in Perth, along with Belgium and a yet-to-be determined nation.
World No.1 Iga Swiatek and 11th-ranked Hubert Hurkacz will lead No.2-seeded Poland, playing in Brisbane in Group B along with Switzerland and the other yet-to-be determined nation.
Group E, comprising Italy, Brazil and Norway, will also compete in Brisbane; Italy, an emerging tennis powerhouse, will star world No.16 Matteo Berrettini and Martina Trevisan.
Third seeded United States features a wealth of talent, including world No.3 Jessica Pegula, ninth-ranked Taylor Fritz, world No.11 Madison Keys and charismatic showman Frances Tiafoe, ranked 19th.
The US is bound for Sydney as the highest-ranked nation in Group C, alongside Germany and Czech Republic.
Also headed for Sydney is the legendary Rafael Nadal, who will team up with world No.13 Paula Badosa to fly the flag for Spain.
Spain have landed in the same group as Australia; Nick Kyrgios, Ajla Tomljanovic and Alex de Minaur will don the green and gold to represent the host nation.
16 countries locked in, two to be revealed🔒— United Cup (@UnitedCupTennis) November 10, 2022
Who will lift the #UnitedCup? 🏆
Find out more: https://t.co/sQuxjlPHlS pic.twitter.com/56hYcLgV17
Headlining Group F in Perth, France rounds out the top six seeds, led by WTA Finals winner and world No.4 Caroline Garcia and Arthur Rinderknech.
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Other notable entries include Norway’s world No.4 Casper Ruud, Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic and Stan Wawrinka, along with Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic.
The top six WTA ranking-qualified countries, top five ATP ranking-qualified countries and the top five combined entry countries have been admitted to the competition.
The final two remaining countries (one ATP and one combined entry) will be admitted to the competition on Monday 21 November, based on the rankings published on this date.
Pablo Carreno Busta
David Vega Hernandez
Nuria Parrizas Diaz
Jessica Bouzas Maneiro
Alex de Minaur
Felipe Meligeni Alves
Matheus Pucinelli de Almeida
Beatriz Haddad Maia
Alison Van Uytvanck
P= Protected ranking, J= Junior ranking, *= Doubles ranking
“The playing group is very excited about the United Cup, and that’s confirmed in the high quality and calibre of those who’ve committed to the event. We are delighted with the depth and breadth of the teams, and we can look forward to many exciting match ups and lots of entertaining tennis,” United Cup Tournament Director Stephen Farrow said.
“The United Cup also marks the return of international tennis to Brisbane and Perth and we know the fans can’t wait to soak up all the action. All three cities will relish the opportunity to see the world’s best players unite and compete side by side as we launch the tennis season globally here in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney.”
The United Cup, an ATP-WTA event presented in partnership with Tennis Australia, offers USD $15 million in prize money and up to 500 Pepperstone ATP and 500 WTA rankings points.
Brisbane, Perth and Sydney will each host two groups of three countries competing in a round-robin format from 29 December to 4 January. Each tie comprises two men’s and two women’s singles matches and one mixed doubles match.
The winners of each group will play off, with the city winners advancing to the United Cup Final Four in Sydney to be played from 6 to 8 January. The next best performing team from the group stages will complete the quartet.
Player field fast facts
- The United Cup field has won a combined 31 Grand Slam singles and 24 Grand Slam doubles titles
- Four of the women’s current top 10 (Iga Swiatek, Jessica Pegula, Caroline Garcia, Maria Sakkari)
- Four of the men’s current top 10 (Rafael Nadal, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Taylor Fritz)
- An additional five top-20 WTA players (Madison Keys, Belinda Bencic, Paula Badosa, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Petra Kvitova)
- An additional five top-20 ATP players (Hubert Hurkacz, Pablo Carreno Busta, Cameron Norrie, Matteo Berrettini, Frances Tiafoe)
- Five current or former world No.1 players in singles or doubles (Iga Swiatek, Rafael Nadal, Lukasz Kubot, Sam Stosur, Elise Mertens)
- Five Grand Slam singles champions (Iga Swiatek, Rafael Nadal, Stan Wawrinka, Petra Kvitova, Sam Stosur)
- Nine Grand Slam doubles champions (Lukasz Kubot, Desirae Krawczyk, Laura Siegemund, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Caroline Garcia, Nick Kyrgios, John Peers, Sam Stosur, Elise Mertens)
- Seven players that contested Grand Slam mixed doubles finals in 2022 (Desirae Krawczyk, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Ulrikke Eikeri, Jason Kubler, John Peers, Sam Stosur, Kirsten Flipkens)
- 12 players who qualified for the season-ending 2022 ATP and WTA Finals (Iga Swiatek, Jessica Pegula, Desirae Krawczyk, Caroline Garcia, Maria Sakkari, Beatriz Haddad Maia, Elise Mertens, Rafael Nadal, Taylor Fritz, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Nick Kyrgios).
For further information on the United Cup please visit UnitedCup.com and follow @UnitedCupTennis on social media.