Australia Downs the US, Advances to Quarterfinals of United States

Julian Miller
By:
Julian Miller
02/01/2024
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Australia Defeated the USA to Advance to the United Cup Quarterfinals

Australia edged out the USA 2-1 to take over top spot in Group C and advance to the United Cup quarterfinals.  

News Insights

  • Day one loss to Britain set a steep hill to climb.
  • De Minaur handles Fritz with ease.
  • Tomljanovic fights hard against Pegula.
  • Mixed doubles duo goes 2-0 in the group stage.

Australia drew what most considered to be the United Cup’s group of death with Great Britain and the United States as their counterparts. Reflecting the competitive nature of these three countries, each won and lost a tie, but it was Australia who finished atop the group due to set win percentage.  

Day One Loss to Great Britain 

It was a difficult start to the short, team format tournament for the host Australians.  
 
Taking on Great Britain in their opening tie, the Aussies were unable to take either of the mens or womens singles matches. 
 
First, it was Ajla Tomljanovic’s turn, who took on Kim Boulter. Tomljanovic was unable to assert her game against the Brit and quickly found herself down a break. She was unable to climb back in the set eventually losing 6-2.  
 
The second set was more competitive, but it was again Boulter who prevailed and in turn took the match 6-2, 6-4. 
 
 Alex De Minaur then looked to even the score in his match with Cam Norrie. The two men, both ranked top-20 in the world, put on a show for the Perth crowd.  
 
Norrie claimed the opening set 6-4 off some big work from his forehand. De Minaur bounced back strong in the second however breaking Norrie early en route to a 6-2 set victory.  
 
The third set saw both men raise their levels as neither were able to gain a big edge with the set going to a tiebreak. In the breaker Norrie found some big winners and ended up taking the match.  
 
Although the tie was lost, with individual matches won and set win percentage being the two top tiebreakers in the tournament the mixed doubles match still very much mattered.   
 
The Australia duo of Storm Hunter and Matt Ebden defeated Kim Boulter and Neal Skupski 6-3, 7-6 (5) to get Australia on the board.  

Singles Split Against the USA 

With the 2-1 loss to Great Britain, and later on the USA’s win over Great Britain, Australia’s tie with the USA was set to determine the winner of the group.  
 
This time it was Alex De Minaur who took to the court first and he performed brilliantly. Up against the hard serving, world no.10 Taylor Fritz, De Minaur used his change of pace and movement brilliantly.  
 
As such, he limited the effectiveness of Fritz’s power en route to a straight set, 6-4, 6-2 match victory to get Australia off to the start they needed.  
 
Tomljanovic was up next with a chance to win the tie for Australia. Taking on world no.3 Jessica Pegula, it was a tough task for Tomljanovic.  
 
The opening set was a nail-biter as neither woman would give an inch as they moved into a tiebreaker. The tiebreak went similarly with the two swapping points until eventually at 7-6, Pegula was able to get the breakthrough point and win the set.  
 
Tomljanovic was unable to raise her level in the second set as Pegula found an early break, claiming the set 6-3 and subsequently the match.

Hunter and Ebden Play Hero 

Storm Hunter and Matt Ebden were put in a difficult position for their matchup against the USA. Not only did they have to win, but they had to do so in straight sets in order to advance to the quarterfinals.  
 
Rather than cracking under pressure, the duo excelled. Taking on Jessica Pegula and Rajeev Ram, the Australian’s came out strong, taking the opening set 6-3.  
 
The second set was even more impressive as they didn’t give the Americans an inch. Hunter and Ebden knew what they had to do and they did it to near perfection, taking the second set 6-1 and sending Australia through to the quarterfinals.

Australia has qualified for the quarterfinals of the United Cup after edging out both the USA and Great Britain for the top spot in their group. The Aussies are likely to face Novak Djokovic and Serbia in the quarterfinals which is sure to make for an exciting tie.