Rafael Nadal and Iga Swiatek will kick off their 2023 Australian Open preparations at the United Cup, a new mixed teams event, with the Spanish great facing a potential blockbuster showdown with Nick Kyrgios.
The tournament, with US$15 million in prize money and rankings points at stake, has replaced the men’s ATP Cup and will be held in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney as a key build-up to the season-opening Grand Slam.
Eighteen countries will compete across 11 days from December 29, with each team comprising four men and four women with 500 WTA and 500 ATP rankings points available.
“The playing group is very excited about the United Cup, and that’s confirmed in the high quality and calibre of those who’ve committed to the event,” tournament director Stephen Farrow said Thursday.
“We are delighted with the depth and breadth of the teams, and we can look forward to many exciting match-ups and lots of entertaining tennis.”
World number two and 22-time Grand Slam winner Nadal – the defending Australian Open champion – will headline Spain’s team in Sydney along with 13th-ranked Paula Badosa. But Spanish world number one Carlos Alcaraz will not take part.
They were drawn in Group D with Britain and the Kyrgios-led Australia.
Top-ranked Swiatek will spearhead Poland in Brisbane alongside…