Sunday, March 3, 2024

Great Britain and Spain win United Cup opening match

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Perth, Australia –

On the first day of the United Cup, Great Britain defeated hosts Australia 2-1 thanks to performances from Kati Boulter and Cameron Norrie, and on Friday Spain won a decisive mixed doubles match to beat Brazil 2-1.

Mixed teams from 18 countries are playing in Perth and Sydney as a prelude to the Australian Open. The format is men’s and women’s singles and mixed doubles.

Boulter defeated Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-4 in the Group C opener in Perth, giving Great Britain a decisive 2-0 lead. Norrie silenced the packed home crowd earlier by defeating Alex de Minaur 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2).

“In the third set, we had to really dig deep and play very bravely,” Norrie said. “Playing Alex is always tough. He’s a good friend of mine and we always fight. I knew he was going to have to run a lot, but he did. It was a great atmosphere.”

Matthew Ebden and Storm Hunter gave Australia a repechage in mixed doubles against Boulter and Neil Skupski.

Spain’s Alejandro Davidovic Fokina and Sara Sorribes Tormo beat Brazil’s Beatriz Haddad Maia and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 7-5 in mixed doubles in the opening Group A match in Perth. won the victory.

Davidovic Fokina defeated Thiago Sabos Wilde 6-4, 6-0, before Haddad Maia beat Sorribes Tormo 7-6(1), 6-2.

Women’s number one Iga Swiatek represents Poland, while men’s number one Novak Djokovic represents Serbia.

Serbia will play China in Perth on Sunday and the Czech Republic in the group stage on Tuesday, with Djokovic set to play singles against world No. 58 Zhang Zhizhen and No. 31 Jiri Lehecka.

Djokovic won three Grand Slam singles titles this year, but only missed Wimbledon. He is preparing for a record-extending 11th Australian Open title.

Upon arriving in Perth, he reiterated that he had no intention of retiring.

“To be honest, I hope this isn’t the last time. I mean, I always look forward to coming back to Australia,” Djokovic said. “I’ve always felt like I’ve played my best tennis (here) over the years, and I’ve had great support.”

Djokovic last visited Perth in 2013 to play in the Hopman Cup.

“I remember always having great crowds when we played in Perth. People in general in Australia love tennis, they love the sport,” he said. “I couldn’t expect anything less this time. I’m sure it’s going to be great for all of us.”

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