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United Cup 2024: Britain and Spain earn victories 

Katie Boulter and Cameron Norrie helped Britain beat host Australia on the opening day of the United Cup tennis tournament, while Spain won the decisive mixed double to edge Brazil 2-1.

The tournament involving mixed teams from 18 countries is being played in Perth and Sydney as a warmup ahead of the Australian Open, with a format featuring a men’s and women’s singles match played ahead of a mixed doubles.

Boulter gave Britain a decisive 2-0 lead in the opening Group C match in Perth when she beat Ajla Tomljanovic 6-2, 6-4. Norrie had earlier silenced a packed home crowd with a 6-4, 2-6, 7-6 (2) win over Alex de Minaur.

“I really had to dig deep and play very brave in that third set,” Norrie said. “It is always tough playing Alex. He is a good friend of mine and we always have battles. I knew I would have to run a lot today and I did. It was a great atmosphere.” Matthew Ebden and Storm Hunter gave Australia a consolation win when they teamed up to win the mixed doubles 6-3, 7-6 (5) against Boulter and Neal Skupski.


Earlier in the opening Group A match in Sydney, Spain’s Alejandro Davidovich Fokina and Sara Sorribes Tormo teamed up in the decisive mixed doubles to beat the Brazilian pair of Beatriz Haddad Maia and Marcelo Melo 6-4, 7-5.

Haddad Maia had beaten Sorribes Tormo 7-6 (1), 6-2 after Davidovich Fokina earned a 6-4, 6-0 win over Thiago Seyboth Wild.

Top-ranked Iga Swiatek is representing Poland in the tournament, while men’s No. 1 and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic has arrived to represent Serbia.

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Serbia will take on China on Sunday in Perth and the Czech Republic on Tuesday in the group stage, with Djokovic set to face 58th-ranked Zhang Zhizhen and No. 31 Jiri Lehecka in his singles matches.

Djokovic won three Grand Slam singles titles this year, missing out on only Wimbledon, where he lost to Carlos Alcaraz in the final in five sets. He has won the Australian Open a record 10 times among his record 24 Grand Slam singles titles.

On his arrival in Perth, he reiterated he has no plans to retire.

“I hope it’s not (the) last (time), to be honest. I mean I always look forward coming back to Australia,” Djokovic said. “I always felt like I played my best tennis over the years (here) and had great support.” Djokovic last visited Perth in 2013 when he played at the Hopman Cup.

“It feels great, it’s been a while since I was here last,” Djokovic said. “I remember every single time I played in Perth it was great attendance, people love tennis, people love sport in Australia in general. So I don’t expect anything less this time, and I’m sure it’s going to be a blast for all of us.”

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