The United Cup is back for a second time, with the unique and unifying mixed-teams event set to light up the Australian summer.
Played from 29 December to 7 January in Perth and Sydney, here’s how it all works in 2024.
There will be 18 countries competing at the 2024 United Cup, drawn into six groups of three teams and competing in a round-robin format.
Perth’s RAC Arena and Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Arena will each host three groups – meaning nine countries overall in each city. The official draw on Monday 23 October will reveal where each country will start their season.
Each team can have up to six members – a maximum of three ATP players and three WTA players.
Like in 2023, each team will also have a captain.
Each tie between countries will consist of one men’s singles match, one women’s singles match, and a mixed doubles match.
The singles matches will be played by the country’s No.1 men’s and women’s singles players that enter the competition.
The order of the singles matches may change – ties can start with either men’s or women’s singles – but mixed doubles will always conclude the tie.
The team which wins at least two of the three matches wins the tie.
The United Cup kicks off with group-stage matches in Perth on 29 December. Group stage matches in Sydney begin on 30 December.
There are day sessions and night sessions in both Perth and Sydney. Each tie – two singles matches, and one mixed – will be completed in one session.
The action in Perth concludes with the quarterfinals on 3 January, with the rest of the tournament unfolding in Sydney and wrapping up on 7 January.
A total of 75 matches – 50 singles, 25 mixed doubles – will be played across the two cities at the United Cup.
How do the finals work?
Once all group ties are played, the six countries topping their respective groups cement their place in the quarterfinals.
The two remaining quarterfinal spots are awarded to the best-performed group runner-up team from each city.
Quarterfinal ties will be played in both Perth and Sydney.
Winners will progress to the semifinals, to be played in Sydney on 6 January. Teams travelling from Perth to Sydney are given a travel and rest day before their semifinal.
The semifinal winners will advance to the United Cup final, set for Sydney on 7 January.
Tickets to the United Cup semifinals and finals go on sale Friday 6 October at 12pm AEDT. Group stage and quarterfinal tickets go on sale Wednesday 25 October at 5pm local time.
What are teams competing for?
As well as national pride, countries are playing for their share of a $10 million prize pool, plus up to 500 ranking points.
There’s also the United Cup itself – a magnificently hand-crafted sterling silver and 24-carat gold-plated trophy. Designed and crafted by Thomas Lyte, the cup features 36 sweeping rods to represent the 18-country mixed doubles partnerships.
It’s also an energising way for players to commence their new seasons, potentially setting the tone for a fruitful 2024 campaign.