Fri. 29 Dec. 2023 - Sun. 7 Jan. 2024

Surfing & Exploring, Poland Discovers Perth

Updated12/28/2023 6:28:00 AM

World No. 1 Iga Swiatek and Top 10 star Hubert Hurkacz swapped their racquets for surfboards on Thursday in Perth, where they visited Scarborough Beach with the rest of their United Cup teammates.

Ahead of the United Cup, the tournament’s top seeds took time to soak in the sun and put their surfing skills to the test, hitting the Indian Ocean waves and sharing laughs.

“I have had two windsurfing lessons but I had never surfed before,” Swiatek said. “You guys will have to teach me. My tennis is better for sure!”

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Swiatek is making her second appearance at the United Cup, having won three of her four singles matches at the tournament last season to help guide Poland to the semi-finals.

With Poland set to face Brazil in its opening match on Saturday, Swiatek is excited to be back at the event.

“It is always exciting to be part of Team Poland,” Swiatek said. “I am happy to be playing this event a second time. Last year we had a lot of fun and this year hopefully it will be similar. This is my first time in Perth.

“It is always a challenge, especially when you play the first tournament of the year. But I am pretty excited and besides singles hopefully I play some mixed doubles as I have not played mixed for a while.”

Team Poland
Photo Credit: Tennis Australia
Hurkacz is Poland’s leading men’s player and starts the season at No. 9 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings after an impressive 2023 season, highlighted by titles in Marseille and Shanghai.

Like Swiatek, the 26-year-old also tested his surfing skills in Perth. Hurkacz is hoping to perform better on court than he did in the ocean.

“It was difficult!” Hurkacz said when asked about his surfing experience. “I thought it would have been a little bit easier. This is my first time in Perth. I like the sea and I am enjoying my time.

“[On Brazil], it is the first match of the year so it is always a bit tricky, but we will try and do our best.”

Hubert Hurkacz
Photo Credit: Tennis Australia
Poland is in Group A alongside Brazil and Spain at the 18-country mixed-teams event.