The joint ATP and WTA Tour project kicked off on Thursday in three Australian cities with big purses and ranking points.
The so-called mixed-team United Cup could also help them overcome the post-holiday battle before the Australian Open starts in Melbourne on January 16.
In the first United Cup, teams from 18 countries will take part in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney till January 4. Next, the champions of the three cities and the best-performing countries in the group stage will meet at the Jane Rosewall Arena in Sydney from 6 to 8 January to determine the winner.
The tournament offers a prize pool of $15 million and up to 500 points in the ATP and WTA rankings.
Although he hasn’t represented Australia in Davis Cup recently, Wimbledon finalist Nick Kyrgios will lead the locals.
“Obviously being at home, but nothing I love more than being able to play in Sydney in front of the home fans, my family, friends,” admitted Kyrgios.
Australia will begin the group stage against the United Kingdom in Sydney on Thursday when Kyrgios takes on Cameron Norrie. He will then face Rafael Nadal on January 2 when Australia play Spain.
“To be honest, I’ve never played very well in Sydney, but I hope to change that story at the start of the year,” Kyrgios said. “Playing in Australia in general is special. Touring is hard work and that rarely happens in Australia so I’m certainly not one to take it lightly.”
First seed Greece is led by Stefanos Tsitsipas (3) and Maria Sakkari (6). While WTA top-ranked Inga Swiatek and Hubert Hercz (11) will lead Poland, which is seeded second. The United States is third with Jessica Pegula (3), Madison Keys (11), Taylor Fritz (9) and Frances Tiafoe (19).
Nadal will pair up with Paula Badosa (13), while Italy’s Matteo Berretini and Martina Trevisan, both ranked 16 in the world, will be there.
Each city will host two groups of three countries that will compete in a round-robin format. Each matchup will feature two men and two women in singles and one in mixed doubles over two days.
The United States will face the Czech Republic in Pool C on Thursday in Sydney. In Brisbane, Italy will face Brazil in Group E while Switzerland and Kazakhstan will face off in Group B.
Greece will take on Bulgaria in Group A in Perth and France will face Argentina in Group F tonight.