Last Updated on November 25, 2023
The United Cup and the Hopman Cup are two tennis tournaments that blend male and female players in team formats, yet they differ significantly in history, structure, and rewards. While the United Cup is a recent event offering ATP and WTA points and substantial prize money, the Hopman Cup is a more traditional tournament focusing on national pride without ATP/WTA points. Curious about more details? Dive into our full article to explore these fascinating differences.
The world of tennis hosts various exciting tournaments, each with its unique charm. Two such events are the United Cup and the Hopman Cup. Both have garnered attention for bringing together male and female players in team formats, but they have distinct differences that set them apart.
The United Cup and the Hopman Cup, both prominent in the tennis world, have distinct historical backgrounds. The United Cup is a relatively new addition, having started in December 2022. It emerged as a replacement for the ATP Cup, a men-only outdoor hard court tournament. The ATP Cup ran from 2020 to 2022 before Tennis Australia announced in August 2022 that it would be replaced by the mixed-gender United Cup starting from 2023. The United Cup features teams from 18 countries and is played across several Australian cities. It also stands out as the first mixed-gender team event offering both ATP and WTA ranking points, with players able to win up to 500 points.
In contrast, the Hopman Cup has a longer history, beginning in 1989 in Perth, Western Australia. It was named in honor of Harry Hopman, an Australian tennis player and coach, and played on indoor hardcourt. The Hopman Cup uniquely featured mixed-gender teams from different countries, initially using an eight-team format, with some years expanding to twelve teams. It ran annually until 2019, after which it was replaced by the ATP Cup. However, the Hopman Cup made a return in July 2023 in Nice, France, with a revised format and fewer teams, planning to expand back to its original format by 2025.
Format and Structure
The formats and structures of the United Cup and the Hopman Cup are key aspects that set these two tennis tournaments apart. The United Cup, introduced as a replacement for the ATP Cup, features mixed-gender teams from 18 countries. It is played across three Australian cities over 11 days, leading up to the Australian Open. Notably, the United Cup offers both ATP and WTA ranking points to its players, allowing them to win a maximum of 500 points. Each city hosts three groups of three countries, and the competition includes round-robin matches and two quarterfinals. Sydney, one of the host cities, is also the venue for the semifinals and the final.
On the other hand, the Hopman Cup, which had its first edition in 1989 and made a comeback in 2023 in Nice, France, has its unique format. Initially played on indoor hardcourt in Perth and later on outdoor clay in France, the Hopman Cup features mixed-gender teams from various countries, competing on a country-by-country basis. The tournament traditionally used an eight-team format, though it expanded to twelve teams in some years. It does not offer ATP or WTA points, focusing instead on national representation and exhibition-style play. The Hopman Cup is known for its promotion of gender equality in sports, with each team comprising one male and one female player.
These differences in format and structure highlight the distinct nature of each tournament, with the United Cup leaning towards a more competitive ranking-focused approach and the Hopman Cup emphasizing exhibition and national pride.
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ATP & WTA Points
In the United Cup, a unique ranking points system is in place for ATP and WTA singles players. A player can earn up to 500 points individually in this tournament, with the points awarded based on the wins they secure and the rankings of their opponents.
During the group stages, points vary depending on the opponent’s ranking. For example, a win over a top 10 ranked player grants 55 points, whereas a victory against a player ranked between 11 and 20 earns 45 points. On the lower end, defeating someone ranked outside the top 250 offers 15 points.
At the City Finals stage, the points increase. Beating a top 10 player now yields 80 points, and wins against players in the 11-20, 21-30, 31-50, 51-100, 101-250, and beyond 251st rankings earn 65, 55, 40, 35, 25, and 20 points respectively.
In the semifinals, the stakes are even higher. A win over a top 10 opponent brings in 130 points, and defeating a player ranked 11th to 20th earns 105 points. Other wins in this stage offer 90, 60, 40, 35, and 25 points based on the opponent’s ranking.
Finally, in the finals, a victory over a top-10 player is rewarded with 180 points, scaling down to 35 points for a win over a player ranked lower than 250th in the world.
In contrast to the United Cup, the Hopman Cup, which focuses more on national representation and exhibition matches, does not offer ATP or WTA ranking points. This key difference highlights the United Cup’s emphasis on individual player performance and rankings, compared to the Hopman Cup’s focus on team competition and national pride.
Prize Money Difference
The United Cup 2023 offers $15 million in total prize money, equally split between men’s and women’s tours. Each player earns a participation fee based on their ranking, with the number 1 ranked players earning $200,000 and lower-ranked players getting less. Additionally, players can earn more by winning individual matches and team victories. For example, if a player like Stefanos Tsitsipas won all his matches and his team won the United Cup, he could earn up to $883,385.
In contrast, the Hopman Cup, known for its focus on exhibition matches and national representation, does not publicly declare its prize money. The Hopman Cup’s emphasis is less on individual financial gain and more on the honor and experience of representing one’s country.