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A resilient effort helped Great Britain record their first win of the 2024 United Cup against Australia at Perth's RAC Arena last night.

Play commenced with the men's singles as world number 12 Alex De Minaur faced Britain's Cameron Norrie to officially begin their 2024 campaign.

This matchup opened proceedings in last season's inaugural United Cup where Norrie got the better of the Aussie in straight sets.

That narrative was on course to repeat itself as Norrie was first to settle into the contest, taking the opening set 6-4 where the 28-year-old failed to drop a single point on his first serve.

The match turned on its head in the second set when De Minaur found his rhythm to move his opponent around the court and construct some winners from the baseline. Two breaks of serve from the number one-ranked Australian were enough to level the scores.

Although De Minaur had momentum during the decider, Norrie played the big points extremely well to hold his nerve and force the match into a tiebreak.

Some of the best tennis was saved until the very end, but it was Norrie who took the initiative to approach the net and produced an aggressive but effective period of play to claim the opening rubber 7-2 in the breaker.

Speaking to Jim Courier during the on-court interview, Norrie confirmed that it was a challenging test to overcome.

"I really had to dig deep and play very brave during that third set. He came out firing at the end of the second set and I couldn't match his level. I had to play to win in that tiebreak and I found good depth in my forehand...It's always tough playing Alex," said Norrie.

Great Britain wrapped up the tie with one match to spare as Katie Boulter defeated Australia's Ajla Tomljanović in a comprehensive straight sets victory.

Tomljanović, who missed most of 2023 through injury, succumbed to a horror start by dropping the first four games, setting the tone for the remainder of the match.

Still trying to find her stride, it was clear that the Aussie looked rusty compared to Boulter who struggled to put a foot wrong throughout the night.

Arguably the pivotal turning point came midway through the second set as Tomljanović failed to capitalise on three break point opportunities which enabled the number one Brit to pull away and gain confidence.

Boulter sealed a valuable 6-2, 6-4 win, admitting after the match that her impressive display had been in the making.

“Honestly, I’ve been practising really well before this event,” Boulter said in her post-game interview. “I just tried to work as hard as I could and enjoy competing because it’s been a whole month since we’ve been playing.”

Despite the mixed doubles not meaning anything in terms of the result on the night, every victory counts which acts as the tiebreaker for deciding the best-placed runners-up as well as a potential scenario involving two nations sitting first on equal points.

Storm Hunter/Matt Ebden and Katie Boulter/Neal Skupski ensured mixed doubles enthusiasts were in for a treat. Three of the four players are ranked inside the top 10 in the doubles rankings, including newly crowned world number one Hunter.

The green and gold pairing avoided a clean sweep as they held off Team GB to win 6-3, 7-6(5).

Australia face reigning United Cup champions USA on Monday evening (AWST), whilst Great Britain will aim to seal progression to the quarter-finals against the same opponent tomorrow morning (AWST).


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