Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari lead the Greek team in the first edition of the United Cup - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

Latest news

Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari lead the Greek team in the first edition of the United Cup

Published

on

The field for the inaugural edition of the United Cup is set. Bulgaria and Kazakhstan have joined the 18-country line-up of the annual mixed team event, which will take place across three Australian cities Brisbane, Perth and Sydney from Thursday 29 December to Sunday 8 January 2023. 

 

Bulgaria will join Greece and Belgium in Group A in Perth. World number 4 Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on former world number 3 Grigor Dimitrov in the opening session on 29th December at RAC Arena in Perth. Dimitrov and Tsitsipas won the Nitto ATP Finals respectively in 2017 and 2019. Tsitsipas won two consecutive editions of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters in 2021 and 2022. The Greek team features Maria Sakkari, who reached the semifinals at Roland Garros, at the US Open and at the WTA Finals in 2021. 

Greece fields top 5 players on both the men’s and the women’s side despite the population of just more than 6 million people. 

“Mainly what I am excited about is that Greece is a very small country, as I mentioned many times. We will be probably the number 1 seeds, if our rankings stay the same. I think it’s pretty special for our country like this to have. If we are the number 1 or number 2 seed in the United Cup, I think it’s enormous. Just a country like Greece in front of all the big countries like the USA, England, France and Germany. Just to have a country the leader of that Cup, it’s big”, said Sakkari. 

Belgium will be led by Elise Mertens, semifinalist at the Australian Open in 2018 and quarter finalist at the US Open in 2019 and 2020, and David Goffin, who finished runner-up to Dimitrov at the 2017 ATP Finals. 

Kazakhstan will take Poland and Switzerland in Group B in Brisbane. 

Reigning Olympic gold medallist Belinda Bencic will face Kazakshstan’s Yulia Putintseva at Pat Rafter Arena on day one in Brisbane. Bencic recently won the Billie Jean King Cup in Glasgow. In this group Poland will feature world number 1 Iga Swiatek, who won two French Open titles in 2020 and 2022 and the US Open title in 2022, and 2021 Miami Masters 1000 champion Hubert Hurkacz. 

The United States will clash against Germany and Czech Republic in Group C. Jessica Pegula, who reached three Grand Slam quarter finals at the Australian Open, French Open and US Open in 2022, is set to face two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. The best US men’s players in the line-up are Nitto ATP Finals semifinalist Taylor Fritz and US Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe. 

Olympic gold medallist and two-time ATP Finals champion Alexander Zverev and Laura Siegemund are the top names in the German team. 

Spain has been drawn against Australia and Great Britain in Group D in Sydney. This year’s Australian Open and Roland Garros champion Rafael Nadal is set to play against 2022 Wimbledon champion Nick Kyrgios in an early season blockbuster match. Nadal is also joined by 2021 Indian Wells champion Paula Badosa, Pablo Carreno Busta and Albert Ramos Vinolas. Kyrgios will team up with Ajla Tomljanovic, Sam Stosur and Alex De Minaur, who won six ATP titles in his career (Sydney, Atlanta and Zhuhai in 2019, Eastbourne and Antalya in 2021 and Atlanta in 2022). 

Kyrgios won the 2016 Hopman Cup alongside Daria Gavrilova. 

“I think it’s a great initiative. Those are important events to have, especially for the crowd, to see how the top female and top male, whoever enters, can play for the country. I have some great memories. I won the Hopman Cup one year and it was probably one of the cooler memories of my career. I think it’s going to be a good event”, said Kyrgios. 

The British team will be formed by 2021 Indian Wells champion Cameron Norrie, Daniel Evans and Harriet Dart and Katie Swan. 

In Group E in Brisbane this year’s Nitto ATP Finals runner-up Casper Ruud will clash against Italy’s Matteo Berrettini, who reached the 2021 Wimbeldon final and won two grass titles in Stuttgart and Queen’s in 2022. Berrettini will be joined in the Italian team by Lorenzo Musetti, who won the first two ATP titles of his career in Hamburg and Neaples and reached the quarter finals at the Masters 1000 tournament in Paris Bercy, and Martina Trevisan, who reached the semifinal at Roland Garros in 2022. The Group E is completed by Brazil, which features Beatriz Haddad and Thiago Monteiro. 

France will play against 2021 Davis Cup finalist Croatia and Argentina in Perth. The French team is led by this year’s WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia, Alizé Cornet, Arthur Rinderknech and Adrian Mannarino. 

This year’s Cincinnati Open Borna Coric will be joined in the Croatian team by Petra Martic, Donna Vekic and Borna Gojo. Diego Schwartzman will team up with Francisco Cerundolo and Nadia Podoroska in the Argentine team. 

Each host city will feature two groups of three countries, competing in round-robin format. Each tie will include two men’s and two women’s singles matches and one mixed doubles match to be played across two days. The winners of each group advance to the United Cup Final Four in Sydney. The next-best performing team from the group stages will advance as the fourth team. 

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.  

Three City Champions will advance to the United Cup Final Four to be played at Ken Rosewall Arena in Brisbane from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 January. 

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Latest news

Novak Djokovic starts the 2023 season in Adelaide

Published

on

Novak Djokovic will open his 2023 season in Adelaide. Djokovic ended the 2022 season with five titles at Rome Masters 1000, Wimbedon, Astana, Tel Aviv and at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin. 

 

Djokovic will also play in the exhibition tournament “World Tennis League) in Dubai from 19 to 24 December, where the Serbian player will team up with Grigor Dimitrov, Aryna Sabalenka and Paula Badosa for the Falcons team. 

In the first week of January Djokovic will warm up for the Australian Open at the ATP 250 tournament in Adelaide from 2 to 8 January. The 21-time Grand Slam champion won nine Australian Open titles in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020 and 2021 but he was not able to play in the first Grand Slam tournament of the season last January due to his Covid vaccination status. 

Djokovic joins a star-studded field that already features 2021 US Open champion Danil Medvedev, Jannik Sinner and two-time Olympic champion Andy Murray.

Murray will play for the first time in his career in Adelaide. 

“I will be starting the year in Australia, which I always really enjoy. Playing at the Adelaide International for the first time is something I am looking forward to”, said Murray. 

Continue Reading

Davis Cup

(VIDEO) Ubaldo Scanagatta On A Week To Remember For Canada At The Davis Cup

The CEO of Ubitennis also shares his view about the format of the tournament and how he thinks it can be improved.

Published

on

MALAGA, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 27: Davis Cup by Rakuten Finals 2022 at Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena on November 27, 2022 in Malaga, Spain. (Photo by Pedro Salado/ Quality Sport Images / Kosmos Tennis)

Canada has become the 16th nation to win the Davis Cup after producing a clinical performance against Australia in the final on Sunday. Denis Shapovalov and Felix Auger-Aliassime both eased through their matches in straight sets to claim an historic victory for their country.

 

Watching the matches unfold from the sidelines was Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta who gives his verdict on events that has taken place in Malaga over the past week.

Continue Reading

Latest news

Felix Auger Aliassime helps Canada reach the Davis Cup Final

Published

on

Canada reached the Davis Cup final for the second time in three years after beating Italy 2-1 in the semifinal in Malaga. 

 

Denis Shapovalov beat Lorenzo Sonego 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 in the opening match.

Felix Auger Aliassime earned a 6-3 6-4 win over Lorenzo Musetti to draw level to 1-1 before teaming up with Vasek Pospisil to defeat Fabio Fognini and Matteo Berrettini 7-6 (7-2) 7-5. 

Sonego beats Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4

Lorenzo Sonego battled past Denis Shapovalov 7-6 (7-4) 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 after 3 hours and 14 minutes to give Italy the 1-0 point in the opening singles match of the Davis Cup Finals by Rakuten in Malaga. 

Shapovalov hit five aces, made seven double faults and converted just one of his 13 break points. Sonego fired seven aces, made three double faults and converted one of his four break points. 

Shapovalov won the first nine points of the match to take a 2-0 lead with a break in the opening game. Sonego won three consecutive games to take a 3-2 lead with a break-back in the fifth game. Shapovalov saved two break points in the sixth game to hold serve at deuce for 3-3. Sonego fended off two break points in the seventh game for 4-3. Sonego earned two mini-breaks on the second and sixth points to race to a 5-1 lead. Shapovalov clawed his way back by winning three points for 4-5. Sonego earned two mini-breaks to seal the tie-break 7-4, when Shapovalov sent a forehand long after 1 hour and 10 minutes

The second set went on serve until the 10th game, when Shapovalov earned three consecutive set points at 4-5 0-40 on Sonego’s serve. The Italian player saved five set points to hold serve at deuce for 5-5 and sent the second set to the tie-break. 

Sonego won four consecutive points from 1-2 down to take a 5-2 lead in the tie-break. Sonego missed a drive volley to set up a match point. Shapovalov won his fifth consecutive point to seal the second set to send the match to the decider. 

Shapovalov saved two break points in the first game of the third set. The Canadian player made three double faults but he held serve at deuce without facing any break points. Shapovalov saved a break point in the sixth game with an ace. Sonego fended off three break points at 3-3 in the seventh game to hold serve after three deuces before Shapovalov received treatment for a back issue. 

Sonego earned the decisive break in the 10th game to close out the match after Shapovalov made three double faults. 

Sonego has drawn level to 1-1 in his two head-to-head matches against Shapovalov, who beat the Italian player 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 6-3 in the Rome Masters 1000 tournament. 

“It’s an unbelievable moment for me. Shapovalov fights non-stop. I had to be focused on every point and I needed the help of all my team. This is just a great moment for Italy. It was really tough to remain focused because I lost the tie-break in the second set, but I was really positive and my captain helped me a lot to do my best to stay in the match and I enjoy the match until the last moment for me. It was a really tight match and a big win and a big win. It was an amazing win for me and for my team”, said Sonego. 

Auger Aliassime beats Musetti 6-3 6-4 

In the second singles match Felix Auger Aliassime beat Lorenzo Musetti 6-3 6-4 converting a break point late in both sets to send the tie to the decivive doubles clash. Auger Aliassime did not face a break point and won all but three of his first serve points. 

Auger Aliassime earned his first break in the sixth game to open up a 5-2 lead and held his next service games to seal the first set 6-3 with an ace after 39 minutes. 

Musetti held his serve after three deuces to hold serve in the first game of the second set. Both players held serve until 4-4. Musetti saved the first break point in the ninth game with a service winner, but Auger Aliassime converted his second chance with a down the line winner. Musetti went up a 0-30 lead on Auger Aliassime’s serve in the 10th game, but the Canadian player hit three service winners to serve out the match 6-4 keeping Canada’s hopes of reaching the final alive. 

Auger Aliassime now leads 3-2 in his five head-to-head matches against Musetti. 

“It’s sad, because it’s the second time in a row that I have the chance to bring Italy to the final. I played until the last point, and Felix played better than me. he deserved to win”, said Musetti. 

Canada beats Italy 7-6 (7-5) 7-2

Canadian captain Frank Dancevic made a late change to the doubles line-up, calling up Auger Aliassime to team up with Vasek Pospisil. 

Berrettini and Fognini converted their second break point in the third game to take a 3-1 lead. Auger Aliassime and Pospisil broke back on their third opportunity in the sixth game to draw level to 3-3. Both teams went on serve setting up a tie-break. Auger Aliassime earned two mini-breaks to win the tie-break 7-2. 

Berrettini and Fognini went up a break in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Auger Aliassime and Pospisil broke back in the third game after two double faults from Fognini to draw level to 2-2. Both players went on serve until the 11th game when Auger Aliassime and Pospisil earned the decisive break on their third opportunity to take a 6-5 lead. The Italian team wasted two break-back points at 5-6 in the 12thgame.  Auger Aliassime delivered two first serves to get to deuce with an ace and a winner and won the final four points to secure their spot in the final. 

Felix Auger Aliassime: “That’s the good thing about having many good players on the team. I feel like Denis and Vasek played really well yesterday to come back and win, but Denis had a long match, and we knew coming this week that we could make some changes depending on how singles went. I feel like the whole team connected around this idea and there was no ego in the wrong place. Everybody just has the clear idea of the main goal, which is lifting the cup tomorrow”. 

Canada improved their lead against Italy to 3-0 in the three head-to-head matches after wins in 2013 and 2019. 

Canada is one win away from a historic first Davis Cup title.  

Canada set up a final against Australia, who reached the Davis Cup final for the first time in 19 years after a 2-1 win over Croatia on Friday. 

Australia holds a 9-1 lead against Canada. Howevr the Canadian team earned a win in their last match at the 2019 Davis Cup match. 

Auger Aliassime and Shapovalov lost to Rafael Nadal and Felix Auger Aliassime in the Davis Cup final in Madrid in 2019. 

“Making the finals is always an amazing feeling, and I really believe in the team. We have done it before. We are here again and I believe we can win this, so we are going to go after it tomorrow and give it all we have got”, said Frank Dancevic.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending