Zverev’s Germany and Nadal’s Spain were beaten 2-0 by the Czech Republic and Great Britain respectively on Saturday and are in poor form for their debut in the United Cup, a new mixed team event and first competition of the 2023 tennis season. For its first match at the ATP tournament for six months and his serious ankle injury in the semifinals of Roland-Garros, the former German world No. 2, currently No. 12, appeared physically weakened against the Czech Jiri Lehecka (N. 81), who dominated 6-4, 6-2 .
The Czech Republic then increased their advantage with Marie Bouzkova’s (N.24) victory against Jule Niemeier (N.65) 6-2, 7-5 and took an opportunity to win the meeting against Germany in the next match between Laura Siegemund (N.27 ) and Petra Kvitova (N.16) on Sunday. Another headliner in the tournament, Spain’s Rafael Nadal (N.2) lost for the first time in his career to Britain’s Cameron Norrie (N.14) in three sets 3-6, 6-3, 6-4. “It’s not catastrophic at all“But played down “Rafa”, who was already hampered by physical flaws in the second half of 2022.
“I can and must do better, but as I said, I haven’t played much so far. The Australian Open doesn’t start for two weeks“, continued the 36-year-old player, listing his progress before then. With the victory for Katie Swan (N.145) against Nuria Parrizas Diaz (N.70), Great Britain, who beat Australia 3-2 at the start of the tournament, leads 2-0 against Spain in Group D.
In Group B, world No. 1 Iga Swiatek allowed Poland to level at 1-all by largely dominating Kazakh Yulia Putintseva 6-1, 6-3.