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Australia secured their passage to the quarter-finals of the United Cup as they eliminated defending champions USA. 

It was always going to be a tall order for the Aussies to overcome two top 10 Americans in the singles, but Alex De Minaur kicked off the evening in style. 

The 24-year-old defeated Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-2 in what was a dominant display in front of a strong Perth crowd at RAC Arena. 

Despite 2024 being barely two days old, De Minaur produced what will arguably be a contender for shot of the year, using his pace and court coverage to win an insane rally. 

After the match, De Minaur touched on his confidence building ahead of the Australian Open. 

“Today was a new year, new me,”De Minaur said after claiming his first win of the new season.

“I was in a great headspace, things worked out well. I played the type of tennis I wanted to play, I’m happy with that.” 

Hoping to make amends for her loss on Friday night, Ajla Tomljanović impressed as she went toe-to-toe with world number five Jessica Pegula to force a first-set tie-break. 

In the critical moments, Tomljanović just fell short, paving the way for a 7-6(6), 6-3 defeat. 

The former world number 32 Australian can keep her head held high as there were plenty of promising signs both on serve and her ground strokes.

With the tie locked at 1-1, Matt Ebden and Storm Hunter once again showcased their doubles experience to oust Rajeev Ram and Jessica Pegula in a comprehensive 6-3, 6-1 victory. 

Ending 2023 as the world number one in doubles, Hunter commented on the special occasion post-game. 

“Playing in front of the home crowd and playing with Matty (Ebden), a Perth local, it is a dream come true to win and go into the quarter-finals at home,” she said.

All three nations complete Group C with one win apiece. However, Lleyton Hewitt’s team finish top of the standings thanks to achieving the highest set percentage. 

Australia eagerly awaits their quarter-final opponent from the winner of Group E, with a potential blockbuster meeting with Novak Djokovic and Serbia on the cards. 


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