Day 3 of the United Cup options two of its largest stars, 22-time Grand Slam singles champion Rafael Nadal and WTA No.1 Iga Swiatek and 

Each gamers are coming off memorable 2022 seasons, each on and off the court docket. And they are going to be challenged, they are saying, to maneuver ahead after these successes. Nadal — who gained the Australian Open and Roland Garros this previous 12 months — and his spouse, Maria, welcomed their first little one, Rafael Nadal Perello, again in October.

Nadal, 36, now the all-time chief with 22 males’s main singles titles, took a break after dropping to Frances Tiafoe within the fourth spherical of the US Open. He was requested about his new function of father.

“Effectively,” he stated, smiling, “the primary occasion I performed as a father with out the newborn with me, I misplaced [Paris] first spherical. Second occasion, travelling with the newborn, I used to be out of the [Nitto ATP Finals] group stage. On the finish I gained my final match, however I must preserve bettering, no? Simple.”

Extra from the United Cup

Getting sufficient sleep hasn’t been an issue, he stated.

“We’ve got some assist.” Nadal defined. “No downside in any respect. Simply I must organise a bit bit my life, as everyone must do when you could have a baby in your life. I am excited to play this competitors for the primary time. Then let’s see. Let’s strive our greatest and let’s see how far we will go.”

Nadal performs the primary match of Saturday’s second session at Sydney’s Ken Rosewall Enviornment in opposition to Cameron Norrie of Nice Britain. They’ve a latest however in depth ATP Head2Head historical past, and it’s been all Rafa, 4-0. They performed thrice in 2021, twice at majors, and most lately at 2022 Acapulco, when Nadal gained 6-4, 6-4.

Swiatek ascended to the highest of the Hologic WTA Tour rankings on April 4. Thirty-nine weeks later, she’s nonetheless there.

“For certain when Ash [Barty] retired, I felt blended feelings,” Swiatek stated of the girl she changed atop the rankings. “At first I felt like I wasn’t certain if that is form of my place to be. Ash, she appeared like an enormous function mannequin for everyone when it comes to her conduct on court docket but additionally off court docket. She actually set the bar fairly excessive, so I want to indicate it to individuals but additionally present it to myself that I’m in the precise place.

“Hopefully possibly this week we’re going to have the ability to meet and I’m going to say it straight to her. However she actually impressed me to work tougher and her completely different sport model made me understand that there’s at all times room for enchancment.”

Group Standings

Like Nadal, Swiatek leads off the late session at Brisbane’s Pat Rafter Enviornment in opposition to Yulia Putintseva of Kazakhstan. Swiatek gained their solely assembly final fall in straight units in Ostrava. She is “tremendous proud” of herself for the accomplishments of the previous 12 months — Swiatek gained half of the Grand Slams and WTA 1000 occasions (six of 12) — however forgive her if she doesn’t need to look again each time she has a press convention.

“At first of this 12 months, I’m going to attempt to form of minimize off all the things that occurred final 12 months and simply deal with the longer term,” she stated. “As a result of I really feel like I can take a variety of expertise from these tournaments final 12 months, however I don’t need to actually maintain on to that an excessive amount of, as a result of I need to go ahead and form of deal with my subsequent targets.”

A brand new crew will open play in every of the six United Cup teams on Day 3, with one of many two different groups from every group getting two days’ relaxation. Along with Poland and Spain, Saturday will see event debuts for Belgium, Germany, Norway and Croatia.

Becoming a member of Nadal in Sydney, Alexander Zverev will lead Crew Germany in opposition to the Czech Republic as he performs his first tour-level match since struggling an ankle damage within the Roland Garros semi-finals. In Perth, Belgium faces Bulgaria earlier than Croatia takes on Argentina. Brazil and Norway open play in Sydney, earlier than Swiatek takes the court docket for Poland.

United Cup: Day 3 Order of play (native time)

Sydney, Ken Rosewall Enviornment

Germany vs. Czech Republic (Group C)
Alexander Zverev (GER) vs. Jiri Lehecka (CZE), 10 a.m.
Jule Niemeier (GER) vs. Marie Bouzkova, to comply with

Spain vs. Nice Britain (Group D)
Rafael Nadal (ESP) vs. Cameron Norrie (GBR), 3:30 p.m.
Nuria Parrizas Diaz (ESP) vs. Katie Swan (GBR), to comply with

Perth, RAC Enviornment

Belgium vs. Bulgaria (Group A)
Alison Van Uytvanck (BEL) vs. Isabella Shinikova (BUL), 10 a.m.
David Goffin (BEL) vs. Grigor Dimitrov (BUL), to comply with

Croatia vs. Argentina (Group F)
Donna Vekic (CRO) vs. Maria Carle (ARG), 3:30 p.m.
Borna Coric (CRO) vs. Francisco Cerundolo (ARG), to comply with

Brisbane, Pat Rafter Enviornment

Brazil vs. Norway (Group E)
Beatriz Haddad Maia (BRA) vs. Ulrikke Eikeri (NOR), 10 a.m.
Felipe Meligeni Alves (BRA) vs. Viktor Durasovic (NOR), to comply with

Poland vs. Kazakhstan (Group B)
Iga Swiatek (POL) vs. Yulia Putintseva (KAZ), 3:30 p.m.
Daniel Michalski (POL) vs. Timofey Skatov (KAZ), to comply with

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