2022 United Cup preview: Group B

GROUP B continues our 2022 United Cup preview series leading up the brand new event taking place across three Australian cities. Group A and Group F are in Perth, with Group B and Group E in Brisbane, and Group C and Group D are in Sydney. There are 18 teams battling it out for ultimate glory in the first ever extended five-match men’s and women’s combined team event.


The first 12 nations were picked based on their highest ranked player, both from an ATP and WTA standpoint. That means the nations of six highest ATP ranked players who nominated, and the six highest WTA ranked players who nominated earned spots in the event. From there, the remaining six nations were based off a combined ATP and WTA ranking to complete the field of 18.


The event features five matches per ‘tie’ with four singles and a doubles, the same format as a Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup. The number one male singles players face off, as do the number one female singles players. Then it’s the number two male singles players, and then number two female singles players. Finally, the fifth match is a mixed doubles match between two chosen players from each nation, likely the top ranked talents.



One of the contenders in the tournament, Poland boasts world number one, Iga Swiatek. She will lead the WTA side of things along with Magda Linette in the singles, while Alicja Rosolska is 34th in the world in doubles. Similarly in the men’s, 11th ranked Hubert Hurkacz is the top singles player, while Kamil Majchrzak is a handy back up. Rosolska and Lukasz Kubot make up an impressive doubles pairing which will make them difficult to beat.


All four of Switzerland’s main singles players are inside the respective top 60, and while there is no Roger Federer anymore, the Swiss women are coming off a Billie Jean King Cup title. Belinda Bencic (ranked 12th) and Jil Teichmann (35th) is a pretty handy duo, while Stan Wawrinka (22nd) will be looking to set up his season with a strong tournament. Marc-Andrea Huesler rounds out the four representatives, with the Swiss depth outside the top 100 and no specialist doubles players.


The lowest ranked nation at the event, Kazakstan will struggle to win more than one match within ties against Poland and Switzerland. Alexander Bublik can be a threat to higher ranked opponents, while Yulia Putintseva is a terrific second singles player, but in the absence of Wimbledon champion Elena Rybakina, the 52nd ranked Putintseva has to step up to the number one singles spot. With Timofey Skatov (146th) the only player comfortably inside the Top 300 from either side otherwise, Kazakhstan is the clear underdog.


It is a two-horse race in the group with the winner of Poland and Switzerland to advance through to the Host City Finals. With Swiatek unbeatable at her best, Poland has the upper hand, particularly if Wawrinka is underdone, but it looms as a terrific group match.

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