North Americans survive United Cup thrillers

IT was far from easy, but both Canada and the United States won in third set super tiebreak circumstances during yesterday’s United Cup. Gaining greater resistance than perhaps they thought – and Canada not utilising top singles player Felix Auger-Aliassime – the pair overcame Chile and Great Britain respectively.

With Canada coming up against the lowest ranked nation at the event in Chile, it was tipped that the North Americans would be able to wrap up the tie without using Auger-Aliassime. Instead, Steven Diez stepped up to the plate for some on-court action against top ranked Chilean Nicolas Jarry.

Canada boasted a 1-0 lead after US Open runner-up Leylah Fernandez proved far too good for Daniela Seguel, 6-2 6-4. However Jarry can hold his own and is far from a pushover, and while Diez did push him to his limits, the South American toppled his opponent in a couple of tight sets, 7-5 6-4.

Doubles player Tomas Barrios Vera joined Seguel on court and forced Fernandez and Diez – who replaced Auger-Aliassime in the match despite losing his singles – and pushed the match into a super tiebreak third set. After much momentum swings, the Canadians survived, winning 10-8 to ensure they kept their hopes of advancing coming up against a star-studded Greek duo next.

The other match between tennis heavyweights the United States and Great Britain lived up to its pre-match expectations, with the contest going down to the wire. Though the United States were backed to get up with two top 10 players in Jessica Pegula and Taylor Fritz, both Katie Boulter and Cameron Norrie showed in their wins over Australia they were more than capable of taking it up to them.

After Pegula led 7-5 and had a break in the second set Boulter flicked a switch to find her best tennis, fought back and stunned the American in three sets, 5-7 6-4 6-4 to give Great Britain the upper hand. While the men’s match went down to the wire in both sets, Fritz showed his class to overcome Norrie, 7-6 6-4 and tie up proceedings.

The Americans opted to bring in the warmed up duo of Pegula and Fritz to take on Boulter and doubles specialist Neal Skupski for an epic match. At first it looked like Great Britain was poised for the upset, cruising to a 6-1 first set victory.

However after that, the United States held its own, forcing it into a second set tiebreaker. From there, Pegula and Fritz won it 7-4, and then stepped up when it counted in the super tiebreak third set to win it 10-7 and secure the win ahead of the final group match against Australia tonight.


There was just the one other contest that took place yesterday, with Novak Djokovic helping drag Serbia over the line in a deciding doubles. Like the other two matches, Djokovic and 22-year-old Olga Danilovic closed it out with a 10-6 super tiebreak third set tiebreak to win the overall tie, 2-1.

The 6-4 1-6 10-6 entertaining contest lasted an hour and 27 minutes and Serbia found a way back from being 3-6 down in the tiebreak to take out the win. Qinwen Zheng had earlier knocked off Danilovic 6-4 6-2 to remain unbeaten at the tournament, while Djokovic proved a class above Zhizhen Zhang, 6-3 6-2.


Croatia has entered proceedings today in Sydney taking on Norway in a tie the former are heavily favoured to win. Though top 10 talent Casper Ruud will be stiff opposition for top ATP player Borna Coric, Donna Vekic is tipped to make light work of lowly ranked Malene Helgo, before teaming up with doubles specialist Ivan Dodig in the likely deciding doubles.

Later on in the day, France also enters the tournament for the first time, taking on Germany who won its first tie. Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber clash with Adrian Mannarino and Caroline Garcia in those singles contests.

Over in Perth, top seeds Poland is expected to remain unbeaten as it cruises past fellow earlier winners, Spain. Both teams knocked off Brazil, but the star power of world number one Iga Swiatek and top 10 power player Hubert Hurkacz is another class above the tricky Sara Sorribes Tormo and Alejandro Davidovich Fokina.

The day’s action wraps up at night with the United States and Australia going head-to-head. As long as the United States win a match it will all but deny Australia a chance at qualifying having to look at set and game percentages. Fritz and Pegula will be ranked higher than the home nation duo of Alex de Minaur and Ajla Tomljanovic, but if the Demon can conjure up some home court magic, then the Aussies will be favoured in the doubles against specialists Matthew Ebden and Storm Hunter.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments