Pumped-Up Kyrgios Ready For ‘Incredibly Important’ United Cup
As a player who has always done things his own way on the tennis court, Nick Kyrgios appreciates the importance of innovation in the game. It comes as no surprise that the Australian is looking forward to the inaugural edition of the United Cup.
“I think it’s just a great event to have,” said Kyrgios as he prepares to lead the host nation at the new mixed teams event to be held from 29 December to 8 January. “An event where females and males come together as one to represent their nation, I think that’s incredibly important, and for the fans to see their favourite female players and male players come together and play for their country, [with] all the best athletes from around the world. I think it’s a very special, special event.”
The teams competition will kick off the 2023 season on both the ATP and WTA Tours, with 18 nations competing in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. As Team Australia’s leading men’s singles player, Canberra-born Kyrgios is set for a pair of blockbuster clashes against Team Great Britain’s Cameron Norrie and Team Spain’s Rafael Nadal in Sydney, the city he now calls home.
“There’s nothing better, to play the Australian summer is one of my favourite times of the year,” said Kyrgios. “Obviously being home, but being able to play in Sydney, in front of the home fans, my family, my friends, there’s nothing more that I love.
“To be honest I’ve never really played that great in Sydney, but I’m hoping I’m going to change that narrative at the start of the year. Just playing in Australia in general is special. The Tour is a long grind and it’s rarely in Australia, so I’m definitely not going to take it for granted.”
Each United Cup tie will comprise two men’s and two women’s singles matches and one mixed doubles match to be played across two days. Kyrgios is a top-class doubles option for Team Australia’s co-captains, Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur, with the 27-year-old's high-energy performances alongside Thanasi Kokkinakis making the pair crowd favourites wherever they play on the ATP Tour. Kyrgios predicts more of the same when male and female stars team up at the United Cup.
“What I love about mixed doubles is [what it brings] for the fans,” said Kyrgios. “To see some of the best females in the world playing with some of the best males in the world, I think it provides some really good entertainment... We’ve seen some iconic doubles pairs over the last decade.”