The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) and Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) have teamed up with Tennis Australia (TA) to launch the United Cup, a new mixed-gender team competition that will debut in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney next year.
The United Cup intends to launch the global tennis season from December 29 to January 8, leading in to the Australian Open, the first grand slam of the year, whose 2023 edition is due to commence on January 16.
In a world first, aiming to showcase equality at the highest level of the sport, mixed teams from 18 countries will compete across the three Australian cities. Each team will comprise up to four men and up to four women.
An ATP-WTA event presented in partnership with Tennis Australia, the United Cup will offer $15m (£13m/€15.1m) in prize money. In another world first for a mixed team event, 500 ATP and 500 WTA rankings points will also be up for grabs.
Brisbane (Pat Rafter Arena), Perth (RAC Arena) and Sydney (Ken Rosewall Arena) will each host two groups of three countries competing in a round robin format from December 29 to January 4. Each tie comprises two men’s and two women’s singles matches and one mixed doubles.
The winners of each group will play off, with the city winners advancing to the United Cup Final Four in Sydney, played from January 6-8. The next best performing team from the group stages will complete the quartet.
The United Cup will, in essence, replace the ATP Cup men’s event, which debuted in 2020, in the tennis calendar. It will also effectively revive the Hopman Cup mixed gender event, which Australia staged from its inception in 1989 until 2019, when it was replaced by the ATP Cup.
WTA chairman and CEO, Steve Simon, said: “The United Cup is an important and strategic collaboration between the WTA, the ATP and Tennis Australia that reflects a continued commitment in elevating our sport.
“This exciting singles and mixed doubles team event will bring together emerging stars and established athletes from both tours to compete on the same stage, giving players and fans a unique experience in which the final outcome may be determined with women and men competing together.”
ATP chairman, Andrea Gaudenzi, added: “The United Cup marks a major step forward for the game of tennis. Most importantly, it will create incredible new experiences for our fans. We’re excited to see the best men’s and women’s players competing together, with ranking points on the line, to launch the season like never before.”