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Well, it is finally here. The 2024 Summer of Tennis officially kicks off tomorrow, with the United Cup getting underway.

The second edition is much anticipated, and with no clear favourite, it makes for some exciting tennis.

Here is everything you need to know about the still relatively new event and my thoughts on what I think will transpire over the next 10 days.

What dates will the tournament be held?

The 2023–24 edition will be held from December 29 to January 7, 2024.

Where is the event taking place?

Both Perth (via RAC ARENA) and Sydney (via Ken Rosewall Arena) will host group stage and quarterfinal ties. Sydney will then host the semi-finals and the final tie.

What is the format?

The format is simple: nations will contest ties that contain three matches. There will be an ATP singles match, a WTA singles match, and a mixed doubles match, with each being worth one point. The top teams from each group will go through to the quarterfinals automatically, with one quarterfinal spot also being awarded to the best runner-up team in both Perth and Sydney.

Which nations are competing?

This United Cup is contested by 18 teams. Serbia and Poland, led by World Number Ones Novak Djokovic and Iga Swiatek, and home favourites Australia will headline in Perth, while Alexander Zverev’s Germany and Casper Ruud’s Norway will be the most sought-after in Sydney.

The following nations will compete in the event: in brackets is where they play their group stage ties

  • Poland (Perth)

  • Greece (Sydney)

  • USA (Perth)

  • France (Sydney)

  • Czech Republic (Sydney)

  • Croatia (Sydney)

  • Canada (Sydney)

  • China (Perth)

  • Netherlands (Sydney)

  • Spain (Perth)

  • Italy (Sydney)

  • Serbia (Perth)

  • Norway (Sydney)

  • Australia (Perth)

  • Germany (Sydney)

  • Brazil (Perth)

  • Chile (Sydney)

Who are the favourites?

This edition of the United Cup is very open, with several nations having the capability of winning the event.

Poland will definitely be tough to beat as they have women's World Number One Iga Swiatek and Shanghai Masters champion Hubert Hurkacz representing them again, and they will be itching to write the wrongs of last year's semi-final exit.

Last year's winners, the USA, are also a contender, as they have top 10 players on both tours, Jessica Pegula and Taylor Fritz, playing for them. They were almost untouchable in the knockout stages of the last edition.

You also cannot discount Serbia; with the great Novak Djokovic leading them, there is always a chance. He is coming off another incredible season, and he has tasted success playing for Serbia in Australia before, going undefeated and leading his nation to their 2020 ATP Cup title.

Then there are fan favourites in Greece. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari always use the incredible home crowd support to their advantage when they play in Australia. They lost in the semi-finals last year, so they will be wanting to give themselves a chance to go a few better this time around.

Who is a dark horse?

No-one must discount Australia. Very frequently, they are always a contender for any team event, especially in Australia. Alex De Minaur is coming off a career-best season, and Ajla Tomljanovic always shows up when representing her country. Tomjlanovic will be hungrier than ever as she continues her comeback from a 2023 season ruined by injuries.

Who will be a breakout star?

The great idiosyncrasy of tournaments like this is that they give lesser-known players a chance to stamp their claim on the professional tennis tours and give themselves a chance to become more well-known.

The more regular tennis fans will be familiar with Olga Danilovic but the average tennis enthusiast will not know much about her. She is only 22 years old and has already won a WTA title in Moscow when she was a teeanger.

Danilovic made the third round of the French Open in 2023 and pushed 7th seed Ons Jabeur all the way to a third set so she is definitely someone on the rise.

She is currently 119 in the world, but I believe that will improve exponentially over the course of the 2024 season. I think that she will have quite a say in this event, especially in the latter stages. Since she is partnered with someone as experienced and successful as Novak Djokovic, I think her form will only improve as the tournament progresses.

Who will ultimately win the tournament?

This tournament is so tough to pick and predict as so many nations have strong depth in both singles and doubles.

I do believe, however, that it will be a final contested by Poland and the USA. They have the highest-ranked players on both the men's and women's sides, and I believe they will get through to the last day of the event and give fans a final tie to remember.

Final Word:

This event was quite a success the first time around. Hopefully it is even more lucrative this year with players giving it their absolute all in winning a title for their country, and getting some good practice in before the 2024 Australian Open gets underway.

We will be covering this event, along with all the others across the Summer of Tennis. Stay across our social media platforms for some great content on all events.


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