United Cup: Poland and Australia remain on title course

Poland defeated Spain 2-1 in Perth, while Australia beat the United States

by Jovica Ilic
United Cup: Poland and Australia remain on title course
© Will Russell / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz have been playing well in the United Cup. Team Poland scored two wins, with Swiatek and Hurkacz making themselves one of the title favorites. After beating Brazil, the Polish duo prevailed over Spain in the deciding match tie break of the mixed doubles clash, pushing their country into the last eight.

Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Hubert Hurkacz kicked off the action, and the Spaniard delivered a 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory in two hours and one minute. Davidovich Fokina overcame a slow start and earned a notable win, taking seven points more than his opponent.

The Spaniard made the difference behind the second serve, fending off three out of five break points and delivering three breaks that carried him over the top. Both players made a reliable start behind the initial shot, with nothing for the returners to work with in the opening seven games.

Hurkacz raised his level on the return in the eighth game, delivering a break and forging a 5-3 advantage.

Iga Swiatek, United Cup 2024© Will Russell / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The Pole served for the set in game nine and produced another fine hold for 6-3 and a boost.

Davidovich Fokina stood close to the exit door at the beginning of the second set, fending off a break point in the first game and turning the tables. The Spaniard delivered his A-game on the return in games four and six, forging a 5-1 advantage and serving for the set.

Hubert pulled one break back and reduced the deficit to 5-3 before Alejandro held in game nine for 6-3 and a decider. The lower-raked player served well in the final set, keeping the pressure on the other side. Hurkacz struggled to impose his strokes, facing issues in three straight service games.

He saved a break point at 2-2 before dropping serve two games later, pushing his opponent 4-3 in front. The Pole defended a match point on serve in game nine, prolonging the action before the Spaniard emerged at the top with a hold at 5-4.

World no. 1 Iga Swiatek had to beat Sara Sorribes Tormo in the second singles duel to keep Poland alive.

Poland and Australia are in contention for the United Cup crown.

The world's best player produced a 6-2, 6-1 triumph in an hour and 28 minutes, leveling the overall score at 1-1.

Iga defended all four break points and turned 57% of the return points into four breaks from ten opportunities, enough to sail over the top. Swiatek had to work hard in her opening serving games, surviving those four break points in games three and five and never looking back.

She broke Sorribes Tormo in games six and eight, taking the opener 6-2 and gaining a boost. Swiatek was the only player on the court in the second set, serving well and challenging her rival to repeat that to stay in contention.

The Spaniard was far from that level, getting broken in games four and six before the Pole sealed the deal on her serve at 5-1, introducing a deciding match tie break. Swiatek and Hurkacz stormed over Sorribes Tormo and Davidovich Fokina, delivering a rare double bagel in 43 minutes and emerging at the top in style.

Alex de Minaur, United Cup 2024© Paul Kane / Stringer - Getty Images Sport

The 2nd seed and the home favorite, Australia, joined Poland in the quarter-final following a win over the defending champion, the United States.

Alex de Minaur sent the home nation in front before their mixed doubles squad sealed the deal with another dominant performance. De Minaur lost the opening match to Cameron Norrie after a massive battle. He made no mistakes in his second try, toppling Taylor Fritz 6-4, 6-2 in an hour and 29 minutes.

The American fired ten aces. However, it was not enough to keep him competitive, struggling behind the second serve and getting broken three times. De Minaur controlled everything behind the initial shot, saving all three break points and sailing over the top.

The home player grabbed a break in the encounter's first game and settled into a fine rhythm in his games. Alex landed a volley winner at the net for 3-1 and opened a 5-3 gap after Taylor's loose forehand in game eight. De Minaur fired a backhand down the line winner in game ten, taking the opener 6-4 and gathering momentum.

The Aussie secured a double break in the second set, forging a 5-2 advantage and serving for the victory in game eight. Fritz created his first break chances, wasting three and allowing de Minaur to seize the third match point with a volley winner at the net.

Jessica Pegula kept the USA in contention after beating Ajla Tomljanovic 7-6, 6-3 in an hour and 53 minutes. The American prevailed in the opener and outplayed her rival in the second to introduce a deciding mixed doubles clash.

Storm Hunter and Matthew Ebden defeated Jessica Pegula and Rajeev Ram 6-3, 6-1 in 63 minutes, sending the home nation into the quarter-final following a notable display on serve and return. Australia could face Serbia in the quarter-final, with a potential clash between Novak Djokovic and Alex de Minaur.