Brisbane : Two-time Wimbledon women’s singles winner Petra Kvitova will lead the Czech Republic’s challenge in the inaugural edition of the United Cup, the 18-nation mixed team competition which will be played in three venues in Australia starting next week.
The 11-day tournament will be played simultaneously in Sydney, Brisbane and Perth as the United Cup replaces the ATP Cup. The group stage will be played from December 29 to January 3.
Each city will host two groups of three countries, competing in a round-robin format. Played over two days, ties will be comprised of two ATP and two WTA singles match between the No.1-ranked players and No.2-ranked players and one mixed doubles match.
If the tie is locked at 2-2 after singles, the mixed doubles match will decide the winner. The winner of each of the two groups will advance to the City Final on January 4 to determine which team will advance to the United Cup Final Four.
The fourth team will be the City Final runner-up with the best record from its three matches. Kvitova said she is looking forward to playing in the new team event. “All of you know that I love team competitions.I will be in the team with Marie Bouzkova, Jessica Muchcova, and with the boys, Jiri Lehecka, Tomas Machac and Dalibor Svrcina, (it) will be very, very funny.
“I can’t wait to start the season in the team competition,” said Kvitova while discussing how thrilled she was to open 2023 at the inaugural United Cup. Kvitova has a great record in team competitions, having played for the Czech Republic in the Billie Jean King Cup squad since 2007, and helped her nation to six titles, in 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018.
She has an impressive 30-10 singles win-loss record in Billie Jean King Cup. The teams at Perth are Greece, Belgium and Bulgaria who comprise Group A while Group F includes France, Croatia and Argentina. Group B teams Poland, Switzerland and Kazakhstan along with Group E competitors Italy, Brazil and Norway will play at Brisbane while Group C teams United States, Germany and the Czech Republic and Group D teams Spain, Australia and Great Britain will play their matches at Sydney.