The Nations Cup kicked off six days ago in three cities across Australia, with 18 nations competing in six groups. Now, the number is down to just six. Wednesday’s City Finals in Sydney, Perth and Brisbane will feature five matches (women’s and men’s singles matches and a mixed doubles match) in two sessions.
Four of the top five seeded teams made the cut and were joined by Great Britain and Croatia. Team matches are:
- United States versus Great Britain in Sydney
- Italy vs Poland match in Brisbane
- Greece vs Croatia in Perth
The three winning nations and the losing team with the best record will advance to the semifinals on Friday in Sydney.
Below is a breakdown of each:
Sydney, Ken Rosewall Arena
United States (2-0) vs. Great Britain (2-0)
Five individual players for these two teams make perfect records 2-0 in the new season finale in Sydney City.
Madison Keys, Taylor Fritz, and Frances Tiafoe went 6-0 to help the United States defeat the Czech Republic and Germany, while Cameron Norrie and Katie Swan combined for four wins, and played exciting tennis on serve for Australia and Spain.
“It’s great to start the year with some wins for sure,” said Fritz. “I think just the confidence aspect of tennis is very important. Especially going into the Australian Open, the off-season.”
Fritz, ranked No. 9 in the Pepperstone ATP rankings, meets Nouri, who is only five points behind. Fritz won their final match last September at the Laver Cup in a tiebreaker, 10-8.
Meanwhile, Nuri achieved the best win of his career by defeating Rafael Nadal in three sets.
“Yes,” Nouri said, “especially about ranking and hitting a guy like Rafa as the challenger he is.” I know it’s his first match of the year, but it was a sick win. It has completely cut me out the last five or four times I’ve played it. It’s good to have it back now.”
US singles players hold a collegiate head-to-head record of 11-7 against their British opponents. On paper, however, the Americans have a huge advantage on the women’s side, with Jessica Pegula at No. 3 and Keys at No. 11 — compared to No. 98 and 145 for Harriet Dart and Katie Swan.
Madison Keys (USA) vs. Katy Swan (GBR), 12:30pm
Face to Face: Keys, 1-0
Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. Cameron Norrie (GBR), to follow
Face to Face: Fritz, 6-5
Jessica Pegula (USA) – Harriet Dart (GBR), 5:30 p.m
Head to Head: Pegula, 1-0
Frances Tiafoe (USA) vs. Daniel Evans (GBR), to follow
Head to head: Tiafoe, 3-2
Jessica Pegula and Taylor Fritz (USA) vs. Harriet Dart and Johnny O’Mara (GBR), to follow
Brisbane, Pat Rafter Arena
Italy (2-0) – Poland (2-0).
Not long after Hubert Hurkacz and Magda Linette scored individual wins against Stan Wawrinka and Jill Teichmann of Switzerland to send Poland into the City final, Poland captain Agnieszka Radwanska was already looking forward.
She told reporters, “I’m really looking forward to Hobby’s match against Brittini. I think that’s going to be the best of tomorrow’s matches I think. We’ll see after all the matches, but I think this is the match I’m really waiting for and we’ll see.”
Earlier, Matteo Berrettini beat No. 3 Casper Ruud 6-4 6-4 en route to a 5-0 victory over Norway. On Wednesday, Hurkacz meets in a rematch in the 2021 Wimbledon semi-finals, which the Italian won in four sets.
There is another Grand Slam rematch on the women’s side as well. World No. 1 Iga Swiatek faces Martina Trevisan. The 2020 quarter-finals at Roland Garros was a huge moment on the way to winning Swiatek’s first major singles title.
“I think in this format you can expect pretty much everything,” said Radwanska. “This is a sport, so anything can happen, especially when you have four singles matches and then mixed doubles. So it’s always exciting until the end.”
Lorenzo Musetti (Italy) vs Daniel Michalski (Poland), 12:30pm
Face to face: 0-0.
Martina Trevisan (ITA) against Ega Swiatk (Poland), to follow
Head to Head: Swiatek, 1-0
Matteo Berrettini (Italy) – Hubert Hurkacz (Poland), 5:30 p.m
Face to face: 1-1
Lucia Bronzetti (Italy) vs. Magda Linette (Poland), to follow
Face to face: 0-0
Camila Rosatello and Lorenzo Musetti (ITA) against Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz (Poland), to follow
Perth, RAC Arena
Greece (2-0) – Croatia (2-0).
Thanks to two victories from Maria Sakkari – in singles and mixed doubles with Stefanos Tsitsipas – Greece were the first team to reach this City final.
But Croatia got into a nasty spat with France on Tuesday night. Down 2-0, Caroline Garcia narrowed the deficit and Adrian Mannarino almost forced a mixed doubles decider. While serving for the match in the third set against Borna Jojo, Mannarino wobbled and suddenly found himself in a tiebreaker. Gojo eventually converted his sixth match point and Croatia qualified.
Tsitsipas He will face Borna Couric who he beat three times in a row, including twice last year, in Cincinnati and Vienna.
Sakkari and Petra Martić have met only once, eight years ago in a US Open qualifier, when Sakkari qualified for the first main draw of her career.
Despina Papamichael (Greece) vs Dona Vekic (Czech Republic), 12:30pm
Face to face: 0-0
Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) vs. Borna Korek (CRO), to follow
Head to Head: Coric, 3-1
Maria Sakkari (Greece) vs Petra Martic (Czech Republic), 5:30 p.m
Head to Head: Scarry, 1-0
Michel Pervolarakis (Greece) vs. Borna Gogo (CRO), to follow
Face to face: 0-0
Maria Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas (Greece) against Dona Vekic and Borna Coric (CRO), to follow