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Hewitt, Radwanksa, Majoli Among United Cup Captains

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2022

Hewitt, Radwanksa, Majoli Among United Cup Captains

United Cup will take place from Thursday 29 December to Sunday 8 January 2023

Agnieszka Radwanska, Tim Henman and Gisela Dulko are among the high-profile names to join an all-star line-up of past and current tennis champions to captain teams at the inaugural United Cup.

The United Cup is a new annual mixed team event, played across three Australian cities – Brisbane, Perth and Sydney, set to launch the global tennis season from Thursday 29 December.

In Brisbane, former World No. 2 Radwanska will captain Team Poland in Group B, led by World No.1 Iga Swiatek and World No. 10 Hubert Hurkacz.

In Perth, former World No. 1 doubles player and Australian Open 2011 doubles champion Dulko will lead Team Argentina, who are drawn against Croatia and France in Group F.

Former World No. 4 and Roland Garros champion Iva Majoli will captain Croatia, with players Borna Coric and Donna Vekic to fly the flag for their country.

In Sydney, Tim Henman, who inspired a British tennis revival in the 1990s by becoming the first Briton to reach the men’s semi-finals at Wimbledon in 25 years, will captain Team Great Britain, which includes World No. 14 Cameron Norrie, Daniel Evans and Harriet Dart.

Former World No. 3 doubles player Marc Lopez will oversee Spain, a team featuring Rafael Nadal and Paula Badosa.

Home favourites Australia will also be in Sydney, and will be captained by former World No. 1 and two-time Grand Slam champion Lleyton Hewitt and former World No. 4 and multiple Grand Slam champion Sam Stosur in Group D.

Stosur is one of several high-profile “playing captains” to feature at the United Cup.

Others include Stan Wawrinka as captain of Team Switzerland, and Alexander Bublik overseeing Kazakhstan in the same group in Brisbane.

World No. 28 Grigor Dimitrov will captain Bulgaria while Kirsten Flipkens will captain Belgium and Grand Slam doubles champion Edouard Roger-Vasselin will captain France.

United Cup 2023 Team Captains

Host City  Group Country Captain
 Perth A Greece  To be confirmed 
Belgium  Kirsten Flipkens 
Bulgaria  Grigor Dimitrov 
 F France  Edouard Roger-Vasselin 
Croatia  Iva Majoli 
Argentina  Gisela Dulko 
 Brisbane B Poland Agnieszka Radwanska & Dawid Celt
Switzerland Stan Wawrinka
Kazakhstan Alexander Bublik
 E Italy Vincenzo Santopadre
Brazil Rafael Pacharoni
Norway  Christian Ruud
 Sydney C United States David Witt
Germany Mischa Zverev
Czech Republic Jiri Vanek
 D Spain Marc Lopez
Australia Lleyton Hewitt & Sam Stosur
Great Britain Tim Henman


View Draw & Schedule

Pat Rafter Arena in Brisbane, RAC Arena in Perth and Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney will host the United Cup group stage from Thursday 29 December to Wednesday 4 January 2023.

Each host city will feature two groups of three countries, competing in a round-robin format.

Each tie will comprise two men’s and two women’s singles matches and one mixed doubles match to be played across two days.

Group winners in each city will play off for one of three semi-final spots.

Three City Champions will advance to the United Cup Final Four in Sydney to be played at Ken Rosewall Arena from Friday 6 to Sunday 8 January. The next best performing team from the group stage will complete the quartet.

Group stage tickets for adults start from $40 and from $20 for children 14 years and under. Family passes (two adults and two children) start from $100.

The United Cup, an ATP-WTA event presented in partnership with Tennis Australia, offers USD $15 million in prize money as well as up to 500 Pepperstone ATP and 500 WTA rankings points.

Visit to purchase tickets and follow @UnitedCupTennis on social media for all the latest tournament news.

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The 2022 Comeback Player Of The Year Nominees: Coric, Wawrinka, Wu & Thiem

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2022

The 2022 Comeback Player Of The Year Nominees: Coric, Wawrinka, Wu & Thiem

All four made impressive return to Tour following injury layoff

Progress is rarely linear, in life or in sport. With the right mindset, a setback can provide an opportunity to come back stronger.

That is exactly what the four nominees for Comeback Player Of The Year in the 2022 ATP Awards have worked so hard to do this season. Borna Coric, Stan Wawrinka, Wu Yibing and Dominic Thiem are all on the shortlist for the award, which goes to a player who has overcome injury to re-establish himself as one of the top players on Tour.

The winner, as selected by the players, will be announced during Awards week, starting 12 December.



Before Comeback

Lowest Ranking

In 2022

2022 End-Of-Year

Ranking (Difference)

Borna Coric No. 12 No. 278 No. 26 (+252)
Stan Wawrinka No. 3 No. 361 No. 149 (+212)
Wu Yibing No. 298 No. 1869 No. 117 (+1,752)
Dominic Thiem No. 3 No. 352 No. 105 (+247)


Borna Coric
SInce undergoing surgery in May 2021, Coric has had to spend between 30 and 90 minutes a day working on his right shoulder to maintain it. Considerable off-court commitment is necessary for the Croatian to even make it onto court, let alone to start winning matches on the ATP Tour.

That hasn’t stopped the 26-year-old from surging back up the Pepperstone ATP Rankings this year. Having dropped as low as No. 278 in May, Coric ended the season at No. 26, an inspirational return following 12 months out due to his injury.

After making his comeback at Indian Wells in March, Coric was understandably rusty. Yet an ATP Challenger Tour title won in Italy in June was a sign that he was starting to find his feet again, and the former World No. 12 then charged back into the ATP Tour winners’ circle in style at the Western & Southern Open in August.

“I have no words, to be honest,” said Coric after taking out five Top 20 players in a row, including Rafael Nadal, Felix Auger-Aliassime and Stefanos Tsitsipas, to claim a stunning maiden ATP Masters 1000 title in Cincinnati. “It’s just an unbelievable feeling… I thought I could play well. I was training hard, and I knew I could play good tennis, but that I could play this level tennis, I was just not aware. I’m just super happy.”

Stan Wawrinka
“[It is] not a miracle, I wouldn’t say that, but it was very long and difficult… I thought I would be [out] only a few weeks. It lasted a whole year, with many moments of doubts.”

Wawrinka had good reason to be cautious prior to his tour-level singles return at the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters in April. The former World No. 3 had been kept out of action for more than a year by a foot injury.

The 16-time tour-level titlist did not take long to dispel any doubts about his ability to compete against the best in the world, however. Wawrinka sealed wins against Reilly Opelka and Laslo Djere in just his second tour-level tournament back, the Internazionali BNL d’Italia in Rome. Later in the year, the 37-year-old also claimed a pair of notable Top 5 wins on European indoor hard courts, against Daniil Medvedev in Metz and Casper Ruud in Basel.

“This is one of the main reasons why I keep on playing,” said Wawrinka after taking out World No. 3 Casper Ruud in straight sets. “I’m getting old, that’s for sure. I had to fight the last two years with the injury, surgery. Coming back was not easy… So to be able to produce that tonight here in Switzerland is of course something really special.”

Wu Yibing
After two seasons away from the ATP Tour, Wu returned to play his part in history in 2022.

In August, he and his countryman Zhang Zhizhen both came through qualifying to become the first Chinese men to compete in the US Open main draw in the Open Era. It represented a milestone moment on a long road for Wu, who did not compete on the ATP Tour from March 2019 until January 2022 due to several injuries, including issues with his elbow, lower back, shoulder and wrist.

“I’m happy I’m still playing tennis and enjoying tennis,” said the 2017 US Open boys’ singles champion Wu after going on to reach the third round in New York, where he was beaten by defending champion Daniil Medvedev. “I think this is really good I can keep my passion for tennis even though I was hurting bad. I think this [is] not easy to do, but I’m glad I made it.”

That run at Flushing Meadows came off the back of a red-hot streak on the ATP Challenger Tour for Wu, who won three consecutive titles at that level in June and July. After playing exclusively on a domestic circuit in China in 2020-21 following elbow surgery, the 23-year-old’s exploits this season helped him rise to a career-high No. 113 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in early November, having started the year at No. 1122.

Wu Yibing
Wu celebrates at the US Open. Photo Credit: Dustin Satloff/USTA.

Dominic Thiem
Returning to competitive action in March after missing nine months due to a wrist injury was always going to be a challenge for Thiem. The former World No. 3 lost his first six tour-level matches upon returning to the ATP Tour in April as he sought to regain confidence in his body and his game.

“The key is just to be patient, continue being patient, work on the stuff which is not working and then it will come back, but it will take time,” said Thiem after the sixth of those losses, a first-round defeat to Hugo Dellien at Roland Garros. At his very next tour-level event, Thiem’s no-panic approach began to pay off. Hard-fought wins against Emil Ruusuvuori and Roberto Bautista Agut in Bastad began a sequence of nine ATP Tour events in which he won at least one match.

After dropping as low as No. 352 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in June, Thiem ended 2022 at No. 105, having reached three ATP Tour semi-finals, with the Austrian showing plenty of signs that he is on the way back to finding his best level. Tommy Paul, Grigor Dimitrov and Hubert Hurkacz were among the players beaten by the rejuvenated 17-time tour-level titlist.

“This victory especially is unbelievable because it’s my first victory over an almost-Top 10 guy in my comeback process,” said Thiem after saving three match points to down World No. 11 Hurkacz in Antwerp in October. “The match could easily have been gone, but it’s like that at the highest level and I’m very happy in general to even get to those close situations again.”

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Tiafoe & LeBron James Meeting A Slam Dunk

  • Posted: Dec 07, 2022

Tiafoe & LeBron James Meeting A Slam Dunk

Stars share special moment at Lakers-Wizards game

Frances Tiafoe has long admired NBA legend LeBron James, who has supported ‘Big Foe’ from afar. That made their meeting on Sunday evening a Slam Dunk.

During warmups for the game between Tiafoe’s hometown Washington Wizards and James’ Los Angeles Lakers, James visited Tiafoe courtside, where they shared a quick embrace.

“Nothing but love OG,” Tiafoe wrote on Instagram.


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A post shared by Frances Tiafoe (@bigfoe1998)

It was a special moment for Tiafoe, who was thrilled to have the all-time great’s support during the US Open. After the 24-year-old upset Rafael Nadal en route to the semi-finals, James tweeted his congratulations.

“Man, I was losing it in the locker room. Bro, I was going crazy,” Tiafoe said at the time. “That’s my guy. So to see him post that, I was like, ‘Do I retweet it as soon as he sent it?’ I was like, ‘You know what, I’m going to be cool and act like I didn’t see it and then retweet it three hours later.’” 

It has been a basketball-filled offseason for Tiafoe. Last week, the American spent time in New York, where he visited the NBA offices and met Commissioner Adam Silver. He also took in the Wizards’ game against the Brooklyn Nets. The No. 19 player in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings joked on social media he would be entering the next NBA Draft.


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A post shared by Frances Tiafoe (@bigfoe1998)

Editor’s Note: In the featured image for this story, Tiafoe wears a LeBron James Lakers jersey while shooting hoops at the Abierto Mexicano Telcel presentado por HSBC in Acapulco. Since that image was taken, James switched jersey numbers from No. 23 to No. 6. Photo Credit: ImagenShop/Mextenis.

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