It’s the newest event in the world of men’s and women’s tennis and it’s bringing together some of today’s top players for a shot at millions in prize money.
The start of a new tennis season is upon us and some of the world’s best are in the land down under looking to put up big performances in the inaugural United Cup.
A joint event from the ATP and WTA, the United Cup features mixed teams from 18 countries competing in cities across Australia (Brisbane, Perth, and Sydney) for an 11-day tourney from Dec. 29 through Jan. 8.
Players expected to participate in the new co-ed tournament include some of the top-ranked men’s and women’s players — most notably world No. 1 Iga Swiatek (Poland), No. 3-ranked Jessica Pegula (USA), and WTA Finals champion Caroline Garcia (France). In the men’s draw, there’s US Open semifinalist Frances Tiafoe (USA), No. 3 ranked Casper Ruud (Norway), and of course, all-time Grand Slam leader Rafael Nadal (Spain).
But there are so many more players competing for their countries in the all-new event. And there’s also much more than national pride on the line in Australia as well.
Time to have a look at what’s up for grabs in this grand event’s first edition — let’s talk United Cup 2023.
United Cup 2023 Prize Money Breakdown
All things are equal in Australia.
In what organizers have dubbed as a “world-first” for a mixed-team event, both men’s and women’s competitors are guaranteed equal pay throughout the tournament — meaning the ATP and WTA players will split a total prize pool of $15 million right down the middle.
But players can earn individual prize money based on individual match wins and team wins. And there are also healthy participation bonuses that are calculated as a function of a player’s world rankings and their position in their respective team’s pecking order.
For example: Team Poland’s Iga Swiatek, because she’s the No. 1 women’s player on her team and No. 1 ranked in the world, will earn $200,000 simply for showing up. Meanwhile, the No. 4 women’s player for Polska, Alicja Rosolska, will get $7,500 for participating due to being ranked No. 32 in the world.
Alongside a generous participation fee, players who perform at the top of their game can walk away with a hefty payday when all’s said and done. But as with the participation payouts, the amount of the prize money available depends on the player’s position on the team.
For example, the No. 1 player on each team can earn anywhere from $38,325 per match win in the group stage to $251,000 for a victory in the finals. A No. 2 ranked player on his or her team can earn $25,900 for a group stage win and $169,200 for a win the in the finals.
Prize money for team wins — this money goes to everyone on the team regardless of individual contribution — can range from $5,000 per player for group stage wins, to $23,155 per player for a win in the finals.
Plain and simple, a player who runs the table and remains unbeaten throughout the tourney can make major bank — not to mention earn up to 500 ranking points for his or her respective tour.
And you can’t forget about the United Cup itself — a hand-crafted trophy made by Thomas Lyte from hallmarked sterling silver and finished with 24-carat gold plating.
Who’s Playing in the United Cup and How Does it Work?
How we got here and where we go is a little bit complicated.
For instance, the first 12 countries to qualify for the United Cup were decided by the six highest-ranked No. 1 players to enter the tourney on both the ATP Tour
and WTA Tour. The remaining six countries qualified according to the best-combined ranking of their respective No. 1 men’s and women’s players.
Each team ultimately fields 3-4 players from each tour playing in both singles and doubles.
Teams include the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- Great Britain
- United States
The tourney will take place across Australia, with each city hosting two groups of three countries, competing in a round-robin format. Each city finals winner will advance to the Final Four in Sydney, with the next best performing team from the group stages rounding out the final four countries.
The full tournament schedule is available here.
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