Germany rally to take the trophy in the second staging of the United Cup

By Russell Boxshall

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Germany clinched the 2024 United Cup in an enthralling final against Poland at Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney.

Captained by Torben Beltz, Germany prevailed 2-1 over the Poles after a thrilling mixed doubles victory by Laura Siegemund and Alexander Zverev. The German pair defeated Iga Świątek and Hubert Hurkacz in a match tie break 6-4, 5-7, (10-4) that finished at 12.45am.

It was Siegemund who would prove to be the standout player on the court, brilliantly showcasing her renowned doubles prowess and inspiring Zverev who had shouldered a mighty workload all week.

Laura Siegemund was brilliant at the net, while Alexander Zverev played singles and doubles on three consecutive nights.
Photo: Tennis Australia / Peter Staples

Zverev had earlier saved two match points in the second set against fellow top 10 singles rival Hurkacz in winning 6-7, 7-6, 6-4 to send the final to a decisive mixed rubber. The German’s cross court forehand winner past a net rushing Hurkacz on the second of the match points just clipped the sideline and will remain long in the memory. The Poles were literally millimetres away from winning their first United Cup trophy.

Earlier, world No. 1 Świątek had kick started the final with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Angelique Kerber (who chose to return to the tour at this event after a lengthy maternity absence).

Germany had come through a gruelling semi final against Australia the night before. Kerber saved two match points in defeating Ajla Tomljanovic in the opening rubber 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, notching her first singles win of the week at a most critical stage.

Alex De Minaur playing Novak Djokovic in Perth. This year the United Cup format changed from ties of five matches to three.
Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel

Alex de Minaur, fresh from a victory over world No. 1 Novak Djokovic in the group stage in Perth, then rallied for a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Zverev and also ensured he became the first Australian male to reach a top 10 ranking in singles since his captain Lleyton Hewitt in 2006.

The mixed decider was a classic with the Germans winning in a match tiebreak over Storm Hunter and Matthew Ebden 7-6, 6-7, (15-13), but not before Siegemund had saved one of two match points with a nerveless lob over Hunter.

Former Wimbledon doubles champion Matthew Ebden and current World No. 1 doubles player Storm Hunter paired for the United Cup.
Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel

The semi final did not finish until 2.19am on the Sunday morning giving the Germans little time to prepare for the final commencing at 5.30pm the same day. Somehow they, and in particular Zverev, did. Germany’s non playing team members Tatjana Maria, Kai Wehnelt and Max Marterer were on standby for the final but in the end lent support from the sidelines.

Poland, captained by Tomasz Wiktorowski (also Świątek’s personal coach), had swept past France 3-0 during the day semi final on the Saturday but were unable to ultimately capitalise on this advantage. Świątek was teary after the final showing how much the event meant to the multiple Grand Slam champion.

Iga Świątek received the Most Valuable Player award, introduced for the 2024 United Cup. Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Team Poland came so close to winning the 18 team competition.
Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Some of Team USA on Rottnest Island. The USA were the defending champions, but did not make the finals this year.
Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Team France’s Caroline Garcia and Edouard Roger-Vasselin defeated Anglique Kerber and Alexander Zverev of Germany in their semi final,
7-6 2-6 12-10. Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Alejandro Davidovich Fokina of Team Spain playing Thiago Seyboth Wild of Team Brazil. Photo: Will Russell / Getty Images
Team China beat Serbia and lost to the Czech Republic, and to Poland in the quarter finals. Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Team Canada beat Chile and lost to Greece.
Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Team Greece in Sydney. They won 3-0 over Canada but lost to Chile and Germany. Photo: Tennis Australia / James Gourley
Katie Boulter playing for Great Britain in Perth. Team Great Britain beat Australia and lost to the USA. Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Team Croatia enjoying Tamarama Beach in Sydney before a win against the Nederlands and a loss to Norway.
Photo: Tennis Australia / Flavio Brancaleone
Arantxa Rus of the Netherlands defeating Norway’s Malene Helgo for the team’s 2-1 win. The Nederlands then lost to Croatia.
Photo: Tennis Australia / James Gourley
Novak Djokovic gives a pep talk to Team Serbia. They lost to China, the Czech Republic and Australia. Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Jiri Lehecka playing for the Czech Republic. The Czech team lost to China and Serbia. Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
Team Norway relaxing at Sydney Harbour. They lost to the Nederlands and France but beat Croatia. Photo: Tennis Australia / James Gourley
Brazil was one of the final two teams to qualify for the United Cup, along with Chile. Team Brazil qualified on the basis of their top WTA player Beatriz Haddad Maia, being the current world No.11. They went down to Spain and Poland. Photo: United Cup
Chile’s Daniela Seguel and Tomás Barrios Vera ecstatic with their doubles win over Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari. Together with Nicolás Jarry who won his singles rubber against Stefanos Sakellaridis, they won the tie for Team Chile over Team Greece. Photo: Tennis Australia / Alex Coppel
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