United Cup: Iga Swiatek ushers in 2023 on a triumphant note against Yulia Putintseva

Alison Van Uytvanck, Donna Vekic, Beatriz Haddad Maia and Marie Bouzkova were the other winners

by Abbey Johnson
United Cup: Iga Swiatek ushers in 2023 on a triumphant note against Yulia Putintseva

Iga Swiatek’s new year began on a happy note as she won her first match of the 2023 season at the United Cup. The world no.1’s Polish team played Kazakhstan in the Group B tie in Brisbane. Swiatek went on to defeat Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 6-3 in just four minutes past the hour.

At the start of the match, Putintseva looked to be making inroads in Swiatek’s game as the latter faced a break point in her opening service game. However, Swiatek didn’t take too long after that to steady her ship as she saved the break point before putting her opponent through her paces.

The three-time Major champion hit 22 winners over four times as many as the Kazakh’s five. Poland and Kazakh finished the day on a tie as Timofey Skatov won the men’s singles match for Kazakhstan against Daniel Michalski, 7-6(7), 6-2.

Meanwhile, in the other tie that was played in Brisbane, Brazil won both its women’s and men’s singles matches against Norway in Group E. Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated Malene Helgo 6-4, 6-2. Haddad Maia needed an hour and 31 minutes to get past her 319th-ranked opponent.

In the men’s singles, Felipe Meligini Alves came through against Viktor Durasovic, 6-3, 6-3 in an hour and 27 minutes.

United Cup: Led by Rafael Nadal, Spain's armada collapses on debut

In Sydney, Great Britain continued with its momentous start to the tournament.

In its Group D clash against Spain, Britain’s Katie Swan and Cameron Norrie dominated Nuria Parrizas Diaz and Rafael Nadal to gain a 2-0 advantage for the team. Swan came from a set down against Parrizas Diaz to post a 3-6, 6-1, 6-2 victory after two hours and five minutes of play.

Her compatriot, the British men’s no. 1, Norrie, also needed a three-setter to vanquish world no. 2 Rafael Nadal. In an all left-handers clash, Norrie also dropped the opening set before pulling through, 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 after two hours and 44 minutes of play.

Czech Republic also gained a 2-0 advantage over Germany in their Group C clash in Sydney. Marie Bouzkova won against Jule Niemeier 6-2, 7-5 while Jiri Lehecka claimed a 6-4, 6-2 win over Alexander Zverev. At the RAC Arena in Perth, in Group F, Croatia went up 2-0 against Argentina courtesy of Donna Vekic and Borna Coric.

Vekic won her singles match against Maria Carle 6-0, 6-4 while Coric got past Francisco Cerundolo 7-5, 6-4. The last group clash at the United Cup featuring Bulgaria and Belgium in Group A saw both teams win one match apiece.

Alison Van Uytvanck won against Isabelle Shinikova 1-6, 6-3, 6-3. In the men’s singles, Grigor Dimitrov bested David Goffin 6-4, 7-5.

Yulia Putintseva Donna Vekic Beatriz Haddad Maia