United Cup

Australia Co-Captain Stosur On United Cup: ‘A Huge Step Forward For Our Sport’

2011 US Open champion to lead host nation alongside ATP legend Lleyton Hewitt
December 13, 2022
Sam Stosur in action for Australia in November at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow.
Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Sam Stosur in action for Australia in November at the Billie Jean King Cup Finals in Glasgow. By ATP Staff

The inaugural edition of the United Cup may be more than two weeks away, but excitement for the impact of the new mixed team event is already building. Just ask Team Australia co-captain Sam Stosur.

“Having this event — men and women, ATP and WTA combined — when you’re really playing for something, you’re playing for your country, you’re playing for points, and obviously everything that goes along with that, I think it’s fantastic,” said nine-time WTA tour-level singles champion and former World No. 4 Stosur. “It’s a huge step forward for our sport, and now that it’s happening it can only get better and better.

“You never know where things could go from here on in, now that the first one [is happening] and everyone can experience it. Having both combined is just an awesome event, and I’m really looking forward to it.”

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The 18-team United Cup will bring a host of the biggest stars from both the ATP Tour and WTA Tour together in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney for a groundbreaking start to the global tennis season. As a co-captain, Stosur is excited about the opportunity to take her place courtside to witness what some of the world's best male and female players have to offer, not least for her own Team Australia.

“I think it’s going to be an awesome experience, sitting out there watching Nick [Kyrgios] and Alex [de Minaur] and Ajla [Tomljanovic], and Zoe [Hives] or Maddy [Inglis], and whoever else is playing and whoever they’re against," said Stosur, who is now a full-time doubles player and will be a ‘playing captain’ for her country in Sydney. "There’s no better seat in the house, I’m sure it’s going to be super exciting.

“Any time you wear your country’s colours, something else sort of happens to you. I know what it’s like to be playing out there, so I couldn’t imagine not being excited on the bench seat as well.”

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Team Australia’s highest-ranked singles player is Nick Kyrgios, currently No. 22 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings. The 27-year-old enjoyed a stellar 2022 season individually, reaching his maiden Grand Slam final at Wimbledon and lifting a seventh tour-level title in Washington, and Stosur believes the United Cup’s team format will only serve to motivate the crowd favourite.

“It’s no secret that he [Kyrgios] loves the team environment, playing in a group and in a team, and it does seem to bring out some of his best tennis,” said Stosur. “I’m sure the United Cup is going to be no different to what we’ve seen him do in those sorts of situations before.

“He loves playing at home, and it will be at Ken Rosewall Arena and hopefully have great crowds and excitement. It’s going to be good fun.”

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