2024 United Cup preview: Group F

CONCLUDING the 2024 United Cup group previews, we take a look at Group F, where title contenders Croatia suit up alongside Netherlands and Norway in what looms as a competitive round robin. All three sides have capable stars, with Croatia and Netherlands also having elite doubles players.

Group F begins on Saturday when Netherlands takes on Norway at 10:30am, with the latter then facing Croatia on New Year’s Day in the same timeslot. Completing the group stage, Croatia locks horns with Netherlands in the final round robin match.

Croatia are sixth seeds at the event, and always dangerous in team events regardless of it if is the ATP or WTA Tours. On the men’s side, top ranked Borna Coric has found form after overcoming long-term injuries and is currently ranked 37th in the world. He will team up with 318th ranked Nino Serdarusic who has leapt the queue to earn some great experience at the event, while one of the world’s best doubles players in Ivan Dodig which gives the nation another huge tick.

The omen’s side is not as strong, but Donna Vekic has reinvigorated her career the last 12 months and is now ranked 23rd in the world. She will be tough to beat as the clear best WTA player in the group. Vekic teams up with 173rd ranked Petra Marcinko who is yet to win a title but will benefit from the tournament. Tena Lukas is a third singles option for the Croatians at 228th with Vekic (234th in doubles) the top ranked doubles player.

The 10th seeded Netherlands are also a threat for the title, with the mixed doubles pairing of Wesley Koolhof (third in the world) and Demi Schuurs (19th) a formidable duo. The Dutch will give the Croatians a run for their money with the 25th ranked Tallon Griekspoor set to have a great battle with Coric and is capable of causing an upset on any given day.

On the women’s side, Arantxa Rus leads the way as a capable first singles player who will challenge Vekic and win her clash against Norway, while Arianne Hartono has been chosen as the second Dutch singles player. Thiemo de Bakker is currently ranked 689th in the ATP singles, but is a former top 50 player so cannot be dismissed.

Norway is always going to struggle at team events, with the nation generously handed 14th seeding despite only realistically having one player likely to win. Casper Ruud is eighth in the world, and while he should still win both his singles, will not find either Coric nor Griekspoor pushovers. While he will do doubbles duty as well, he only has the three teammates with Norway limited in terms of available players.

Andreja Petrovic is the lowest ranked player at the tournament, ranked outside the top 1000, but is one of Norway’s next best singles players. Unfortunately things are just as grim on the women’s side, with Malene Helgo (539th) and Ulrikke Eikeri (604th) two of only three Norwegians on the WTA Tour. A positive is Eikeri can be a strong doubles player, ranked 38th in the world.


Croatia and Netherlands will battle it out for glory in Group F, with the potential for the loser to also advance through the fourth wildcard spot in Perth. Both nations have a mix of singles and doubles talent, and should have no issues knocking off Norway comfortably.

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