United Cup

The United Cup is a team competition that includes players from both ATP & WTA Tours that kicks off a new tennis season starting from the final days of December and finishing some ten days after that.

Date: 29 December - 7 January
Category: United Cup
Surface: Hard
Location: Brisbane, Perth, Sydney
Venue: Multiple
Players: 18 countries (Entry List)
Prize Money: $10 million (Full distribution)
Points: Up to 500 points (Full distribution)
Draw: 6 groups (Draw)
Official website: www.unitedcup.com

The United Cup was first held in 2023 after an effort from Tennis Australia to create an event that would feature both ATP and WTA players. Towards that goal, the ATP Cup was replaced with the United Cup as mixed events proved very successful and a proper crowd magnet in the past.

The unique format that allows teams of both ATP and WTA players to compete together isn't prevalent on the Tour, and it's actually the only mixed event to offer points to the players. It's also the biggest event like this and proved a huge success in its maiden edition in 2023.

The format itself sees 18 countries compete in a round-robin format. Teams are spread in six groups of three nations in three host cities. Brisbane hosts matches in the 5,500-seat Pat Rafter Arena. Sydney hosts matches in the 10,500-seat Ken Rosewall Arena, while Perth hosts matches in the 15,500-seat RAC Arena.

The rules for qualification are rather simple. Six nations qualify by virtue of the ranking of their best-ranked ATP player. Six countries qualify by virtue of the ranking of their best-ranked WTA player. The final six qualify based on the combined rankings of their players.

Australia is the host nation and qualifies automatically. This means that most countries that have at least a top player on either side of the sport will qualify for the event. Ties between nations initially featured a best-of-five system where the country that gets to three points first won, but changed to the best-of-three system in 2024.

As a result, only one men's singles match and one women's singles match were played before a mixed doubles match, if necessary. Four nations ultimately contest the semi-finals with a final being played on the last day of the event.

The first edition of the event was won by the USA, who defeated Italy 4-0 in the final. They went undefeated at the event, winning all five ties they played. After a lot of success in 2023, it wasn't a surprise that the event returned to the calendars in 2024.

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