2024 United Cup preview: Group D

FOURTH seeded France heads into the 2024 United Cup Group D as favourites to advance, taking on Italy and Germany in this year’s tournament. The French finished second in the group stage last year as Italy progressed through to the final, but was whitewashed by a strong American outfit.

Taking place in Sydney at Ken Rosewall Arena, Italy and Germany kick off Group D on Saturday evening from 5:30pm, before France clashes with Germany on Monday, January 1 at the same timeslot. Completing the group is the France-Italy clash on Wednesday, January 3 in a morning schedule starting at 10:30am.

France enters the tournament as fourth seeds courtesy of the dangerous Caroline Garcia‘s top 10 ranking at the time of registration. Though she has since slipped to 20th, the top Frenchwoman remains a serious danger, while fellow ATP top ranked singles player Adrian Mannarino can also cause some headaches.

Like many teams though, France has not brought its best second singles players with Amadine Hesse (ranked 313th in the world incredibly France’s 19th best singles player. In the men’s, Antonie Escoffier gets his chance as the 19th best singles player. The big question mark over France is the fact that these two are 30 and 31 years-old respectively, and the French could not attract up-and-coming talents.

Italy might have come runners-up last year, but lacking the top-end talent that was there, it looks up to Lorenzo Sonego and Jasmine Paolini to carry the load. The 46th ranked Sonego is only his nation’s fourth singles player, with Jannik Sinner and Lorenzo Musetti not taking part. Instead, the 101st ranked Flavio Cobolli gets his opportunity as a 21-year-old in the second singles.

On the women’s side, 206th ranked Nuria Brancaccio will gain great experience in the tournament, while Andrea Pellegrino and Angelica Moratelli are potential mixed doubles players, with the latter the top ranked Italian in the world for that format.

Germany has arguably the two most dangerous players as number one singles talents when they are on song in Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber. Zverev is by far the best male player in the group, while Kerber will take it up to Garcia, but lacks the consistency of the Frenchwoman of late. Both will prove hard to beat in the singles, while the German’s second singles pairing is stronger than that of their opponents which could prove vital.

Maximilian Marterer and Tatjana Maria are both handy on their day, and could be capable of winning their singles which puts pressure on the number one singles players for the opposition. If they can come away with victories in those elements, Zverev is essentially a lock which is why Germany could be a dark horse in teh tournament. Laura Siegemund is a rock solid doubles player as well.


France looms as the safest bet in the group, but Germany has the most natural talent. If Zverev and Kerber play to their top-end potential, they should almost drag their team over the line. The depth is better at the Germans too, it will just be a question of consistency, which France and Italy have.

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