Home country Australia, Great Britain and defending champions USA have attracted attention after meeting in the United Cup, the main opening tournament of the Australian Open, which begins in late December.
Serbia – led by world No. 1 Novak Djokovic – was grouped with China and the Czech Republic in the second group based in Perth, while women’s world No. 2 Iga Swiatek, who plays for Poland against Spain next month named as another qualifier, will also be there in Perth.
In Sydney, Greece’s Stefanos Tsitipas and Maria Sakkari – both top 10 players – face Canada and a third qualifier from Group B. France, Italy and Germany are in the second group based in Sydney, while Croatia, the Netherlands and Norway accrue the third.
However, the focus of discussion at Monday’s draw at Circular Quay in Sydney was Group C and the grouping of the three English-speaking nations in Perth.
“It could be the end of a beautiful relationship,” said former Australian Davis Cup captain Wally Masur.
Australia have named world number 13 Alex de Minaur and Ajla Tomljanović in the team format. The USA will be led by Taylor Fritz and Jessica Pegula – both in their respective top 10 – and Cameron Norrie, Dan Evans and Katie Boulter will compete for Great Britain.
Each match in the upcoming tournament will feature three matches – up from five in the last edition – including a men’s singles, a women’s singles and a mixed doubles. Each is completed in one sitting, guaranteeing a result for fans at the venue.
The format could see De Minaur playing mixed doubles against Boulter. The couple has been in a relationship for more than two years.
“Alex may be in a situation where he’s playing three sets against Cam Norrie and maybe it’s not in his interest to go at the back and play the mixed doubles,” Masur said. “But if he plays Boulter it would add a bit of spice.”
Nine of the world’s top 20 men’s singles and five of the world’s top 10 women’s singles have been named to compete in the highest-profile warm-up tournament before the Australian Open. The Grand Slam in Melbourne begins with qualifying on January 11th. The main draw begins three days later.
The group stage and quarter-finals will be split between Perth and Sydney before Sydney hosts the semi-finals and final on January 7.
Queensland hosted part of the tournament last year but will return to its traditional tournament, the Brisbane International, from December 31.
Adelaide, Hobart and Canberra are also hosting Australian Open warm-ups.