The United States beat the Czech Republic 3-1 in mixed teams at the United Cup after American Frances Tiafoe’s opponent, Czech Tomasz Machak, withdrew with an ankle injury in the second set of their singles match on Friday.
Top seeds Greece and Italy also completed their victories on Friday.
Tiafoe won the first set 6–3 at the Ken Rosewall Arena in Sydney, but fell behind 4–2 in the second when play was halted due to an injury to Machak.
“We were in the middle of a fight,” Tiafoe admitted. “Sucks it happened like that. You don’t want to see that. I hope he’s fine for the Australian Open.”
The Americans entered the second day leading 2-0 after Taylor Fritz and Madison Keys won their individual doubles on Thursday.
But two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova saved seven set points to defeat third-ranked Jessica Pegula 7-6(6), 6-4 in Friday’s first match to give the Czech Republic a chance to win.
“We keep fighting,” Kvitova warned. “I think USA is a great team, with great players. We are not favourites, but we will fight for every game, every point.
In other matches on Friday, Greece thrashed Bulgaria 3-0 in Perth, Western Australia to claim the top seed. Stefanos Tsitsipas beat Grigor Dimitrov 4-6, 6-2, 7-6(4) and Despina Papamichael beat Isabella Shinnikova 3-6, 6-4, 6-1.
On Friday, Maria Sakkari completed the Greek victory by defeating Viktoria Tomova 6-3, 6-2.
And Matteo Berretini got the season off to a good start by helping Italy beat Brazil 3–1 in Brisbane. The Italian tennis player defeated Brazilian number one Thiago Monteiro 6-4, 7-6 (7) to give his country a 2-1 lead. Lucia Bronzetti sealed the group victory by defeating Laura Pigosi 6-0, 6-2.
Two singles matches – one for men and one for women – are played over two days, with mixed doubles culminating in five-match matches over two days.
In the first United Cup, teams from 18 countries will play in Brisbane, Perth and Sydney till January 4. The champions of each city and the next best country from the group stage will meet at the Ken Rosewall Arena between January 6 and 8 to meet the champion.