The United Cup will kick-start for the first time in 2023 and looked to have piqued the interest of tennis fans all over the world. In this article that follows, we will look at what is the brouhaha around United Cup, what is the format that the competition adopts and the ranking point system on offer.
The ATP and WTA tours have worked together to deliver the United Cup, a first of its kind tennis tournament which will be held in Australia in the lead-up to the Australian Open.
This tournament will kick the 2023 season off as some of the top tennis players take to court for both, national pride and ranking points – not to mention a hefty pay check if they do well!
Why is the United Cup expected to be so important and what can we expect out of it? What is the format of this tournament and how will the ranking points be allocated to players in this edition?
These are some of the questions tennis fans have been asking and in these sections below we try to answer some of them.
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What is the United Cup Tennis Tournament?
United Cup is a tennis competition which will be played for the first time in the 2023 season. In fact it will kick-start the year with the tournament starting on December 29, 2022.
The tournament will be hosted across three venues in Australia and will see men’s and women’s player take part in a country-versus-country format. What will also be on offer are 500 points for individual players on both, the men’s and women’s tour.
It is a first-of-its-kind tennis tournament, made unique for a variety of reasons that we will explore below.
Why Makes United Cup Unique?
United Cup is a team tennis event on both, the ATP and WTA calendars which was first played in the 2023 season. What makes it unique is it is the first ever joint, men’s and women’s tennis competition that also awards points.
Before United Cup there have been a few team tennis events that pitted countries against each other which include Davis Cup, Billie Jean King Cup (or Fed Cup), Hopman Cup, Laver Cup (which has Team Europe take on Team World) and the ATP Cup.
While the Davis Cup, Laver Cup and ATP Cup are men’s only events, the Billie Jean King Cup is a women’s only tournament. Hopman Cup was the only competition which saw the inclusion of both men and women in the same competition but was an exhibition event that didn’t award points.
Which is why, United Cup is different from the rest of them in that it pits country against country, has both men and women being a part of it and also awards rankings points to individual players.
What is the Format of the 2023 United Cup?
18 countries will take part in the 2023 United Cup in what will be a round-robin-cum-knockout format. These 18 teams will be split in six groups of three teams apiece, with each of the three cities playing host to two groups each.
The top teams from each city will face off to decide three of the four semifinalists with the fourth spot earned by the next-best performing country from the group stages of the tournament.
The semifinals and the final will be hosted in Sydney.
Each tie between countries will consist of two men’s singles, two women’s singles and one mixed doubles matches. The team winning three of these five matches will be the winner of that tie but all five matches will be played irrespective of the result having been achieved earlier.
All countries will play two ties apiece with the team winning most ties finishing atop of the group and making it to the City Finals.
In case of a tie between countries from a group, the team winning most number of matches will go through.
How are the Ranking Points Allocated at the 2023 United Cup?
Here’s a look at how players can earn ATP and WTA singles ranking points.
- Players can earn a maximum of 500 individual points in the 2023 United Cup tournament
- Points are earned on the basis of wins and the opponent ranking
- For the group stages of the tournament, a win over a top 10 opponent will earn a player 55 points while that against a player ranked between 11 and 20 will get him or her 45 points. Similarly, at the other end of the spectrum a victory over a player ranked outside the top 250 will get one just 15 points.
- Similarly, wins over top 10 players at the City Finals stage will earn 80 points while that against players ranked 11-20, 21-30, 31-50, 51-100, 101-250 and 251st and beyond will get them 65, 55, 40, 35, 25, 20 respectively.
- Semifinal wins over a top 10 player earns 130 points while that against a player ranked 11th to 20th will get him or her 105 points. Similarly, the other wins at the semifinal stage will earn 90, 60, 40, 35 and 25.
- A win in the final earns a player 180 points over a top-10 progressing downward to 35 points for a win over a player ranked lower than 250th in the world.
Here’s a table that shows the United Cup 2023 Ranking Points system for individual players:
Final Words on United Cup Points System and Format
One of the most awaited tennis tournaments in the world, the United Cup will have a unique format and a ranking system that has been explained in the article above.