ASB Classic could miss out on top players due to new United Cup – Stuff

The ASB Classic could miss out on some big name players in January due to the launching of the United Cup.
The Times in the UK has reported that the ATP Cup, which was played during the first week of the year around Australia, has been scrapped and in its place a new mixed tournament is being set up by the ATP and WTA.
The United Cup will feature 16 nations, with a male and female player each playing a singles match, then combining for mixed doubles.
It is a format similar to the old Hopman Cup, which took place in Perth at the beginning of each year, but was scrapped in 2020, to make way for the ATP Cup.
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A big difference between the United Cup and Hopman Cup is that ranking points will be up for grabs, making it far more enticing for players.
There is no official news about the United Cup released by Tennis Australia, but the federation told AAP that an announcement is coming soon.
"Plans for the Australian summer are currently being finalised. We are excited about the options and what they will mean for both players and fans. We look forward to announcing more details soon," Tennis Australia told AAP at the US Open in New York.”
“But in the Times’ story it states matches will be played throughout Australia with a round robin draw, followed by a knockout stage.
Other ATP and WTA tournaments will take place in Australia at the same time, allowing those who miss out to still get some tennis before the first grand slam of the year begins.
The United Cup would impact the ASB Classic with the players it’s able to attract, particularly in the women’s week, which would clash directly with it, if it’s in the same spot in the calendar as the ATP Cup.
The Classic is only allowed to secure one top 10 player in the WTA rankings and Coco Gauff will move onto that elite list after her success at the US Open the past two weeks.
But there were other big name players outside the top 10 that Classic tournament director Nicolas Lamperin was looking to attract and for them, they may now be more inclined to play the United Cup, where they’ll have a better idea of how many matches they’ll play before the Australian Open.
One player who could be less likely to come to Auckland is Britain’s Emma Raducanu.
The 2021 US Open winner is expected to drop to around 83 in the world rankings next week and would have been the perfect target for Lamperin, given her high profile.
But now she would have the opportunity to team up with Cameron Norrie or Andy Murray and play the United Cup instead.
Others who could be less inclined to come to Auckland are Naomi Osaka, Bianca Andreescu, Belinda Bencic and Garbine Muguruza as all these player have a high ranked male player from their country they could team up with.
But one potential positive from the United Cup is that it could make the men’s Classic more appealing to some men’s players as there will be less spots available for them in the United Cup than there was in the ATP Cup.
This could mean more players are searching for an ATP tournament to play at a week before the Australian Open.
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