Playing the first match of her new season, World No. 1 Iga Swiatek launched Team Poland’s campaign at the United Cup with a dominant display against Beatriz Haddad Maia, and alongside Hubert Hurkacz, they built a perfect score for their nation on Saturday in Perth.
The top-seeded Polish players proved on court why their team has become a force to beat at the United Cup in 2024, staying perfect against Brazil on debut to top Group A in the standings.
World number one Iga Swiatek set off proceedings at the RAC Arena in the evening session, adding pressure over her opponent Beatriz Haddad Maia from beginning to end, securing a 6-2, 6-2 win in one hour and 18 minutes.
The 22-year-old ruthless performance neutralized Haddad Maia’s efforts to turn the match around, giving Poland a 1-0 lead over Brazil.
Then, World No. 9 Hubert Hurkacz hit the court to play Thiago Seyboth Wild, who fought hard across a thrilling three-setter, attempting to earn his first victory at the tournament.
However, Hurkacz had other plans in mind; after dropping the first set tiebreak, the Pole regrouped, finding his way back into the game to notch a 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-3 triumph in two hours and 24 minutes, extending Poland advantage to 2-0.
Reunited for the mixed doubles match, Swiatek and Hurkacz edged Haddad Maia and Marcelo Melo, clinching a 6-4, 6-3 win, rounding a 3-0 record.
After falling to Spain on Friday, Brazil currently holds the last place in Group A with a 0-2 deficit.
Next, the Spaniards will square off the Polish squad on Monday, battling for a place in the quarterfinals.
Meanwhile, ninth seed China made a victorious maiden appearance at the combined ATP-WTA international event, prevailing 3-0 over the fifth-seeded team, Czech Republic, in its Group E encounter at the RAC Arena in Perth.
Young WTA star Zheng Qinwen and the first Chinese Masters 1000 quarterfinalist, Zhang Zhinzhen, joined forces to take by storm the Czech Republic.
The morning session saw World No. 58 Zhinzhen rallying to recover from a set down and beat Jiri Lehecka 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 after two hours and 20 minutes.
The women’s singles clash featured 21-year-old Qinwen, competing for the first time at the United Cup, upsetting reigning Wimbledon champion Marketa Vondrousova 6-1, 2-6, 6-1 in one hour and 48 minutes.
Moreover, the relentless Chinese pair teamed up in the mixed doubles against the duo Vondrousova-Lehecka, claiming a 6-1, 6-2 win to consolidate China’s flawless debut.
Elsewhere, Sydney hosted Groups D and F action on Saturday.
World No. 7 Alexander Zverev headlined Germany, finishing 2-1 on the scoreboard against Italy.
Furthermore, Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor fell to Casper Ruud of Norway 3-6, 4-6.
Nonetheless, the Netherlands turned the tables to grab the top spot in Group F with a 2-1 record.
“I’m not really the guy who is going to sit by myself and cry about my singles. It was a bit up and down,” Griekspoor asserted.
“Casper played well. You play a high-quality opponent, so it is what it is, trying to take the positives from it, to be there to help the team. It’s a team event, something I like. I am really happy with how they did.”
Back on Perth hard courts on Sunday, Team China will meet Serbia in the Group E tie, opening with World No. 1 Novak Djokovic against Zhizhen before teammate Olga Danilovic takes to the court to face Qinwen.
Addressing the upcoming challenge against the Chinese squad, the Serbian outlined: “They are in form. They have great players. [There is a] big Chinese community here and also [a big] Serbian community.”
“Hopefully, we can feel the energy on the stands and support for both nations and really celebrate the New Year’s in the best possible way for Serbians.”
In addition, defending champions Team USA will play Great Britain in the Group A tie.
Group B will begin its journey in Sydney as Chile takes on Canada at the Ken Rosewall Arena.