Poland, Australia touch down in Sydney for United Cup semifinals

Alex de Minaur’s Australia and Iga Swiatek’s Poland are in Sydney ready to battle in the United Cup semifinals on Saturday.

Australia, led by Alex de Minaur, Ajla Tomljanovic, WTA Doubles No.1 Storm Hunter, and Matt Ebden, will face Greece or Germany. The home team eliminated No.1 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings Novak Djokovic and Serbia in the quarterfinals to advance to Sydney.

“Perth has treated us pretty nicely,” De Minaur said. “We had a great time over there, we played some great tennis and obviously the goal was to make it to Sydney and I think we’re all very happy to be here.”

De Minaur recorded one of the biggest wins of his career against Djokovic, upsetting the 36-year-old 6-4, 6-4 at RAC Arena.

“It was a pretty special moment, one that I’ll obviously remember for the rest of my life,” De Minaur said. “It’s definitely not every day you get a win over the best player in the world, so I’m very grateful.”

Swiatek showed devastating form in Perth, where she lost just 12 games in three matches against high-quality opponents. The WTA World No.1 said at the airport on Thursday she is eager for her country to advance further than in 2023, when it lost to eventual champion United States in the semifinals.

“Very excited. It’s another opportunity for us,” Swiatek said. “Last year, we made it to the semifinals, so for sure this year we want to go further. And I’m really happy with our performance in Perth, it was really solid and I feel like we have good rhythm and we can actually play our best game here.”

Poland will play France, which clawed past Norway in the quarterfinals. The tie will pit the last two winners of the WTA Finals against each other, with Swiatek taking on Caroline Garcia. Swiatek leads the head-to-head 3-1, though the Frenchwoman took Swiatek to three sets last fall in Beijing.

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