The tennis pros from the USA started the new United Cup in the German Group C with a win against the Czech Republic.

On Friday in Sydney, 24-year-old Frances Tiafoe benefited from the injury-related retirement of his opponent Tomas Machac at 6:3, 2:4 and thus clinched the decisive point for the US team at 4:1. Earlier, two-time Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova won 7-6 (8-6), 6-4 against world number three Jessica Pegula. The Czech Republic is thus already under pressure ahead of the duel with Germany on Saturday and Sunday.

Olympic champion Alexander Zverev will first meet Jiri Lehecka at the preparatory tournament for the Australian Open (16 to 29 January), and Wimbledon quarter-finalist Jule Niemeier will take on Marie Bouzkova. In addition, Laura Siegemund, Anna-Lena Friedsam, Daniel Altmaier, Oscar Otte, and the doubles specialists Julia Lohoff and Fabian Fallert are expected to score points for the German team.

“We keep fighting,” Kvitova said before the duel. “We are not the favorites here, but we are fighting for every point.” The USA had already won the first two singles against the Czech Republic and also prevailed in the doubles.

The team around US Open semi-finalist Tiafoe is the second opponent of the German team on 2 and 3 January. In six groups of the mixed competition, a total of 18 nations are fighting to advance, the winner will be determined in the final on 8 January. Apart from Sydney, where the finals will also take place, the matches will be played in Brisbane and Perth.