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Taylor Fritz took one look at the draw for the United Cup and knew straight away that history was about to repeat itself with yet another match-up against Cameron Norrie. And the top-ranked American couldn’t resist making a sarcastic joke about the prospect of facing the British number one once more.
The 2024 season will get underway a couple of days earlier when the United Cup begins on December 29 in Perth and Sydney, running until January 7. The tournament is a mixed-sex competition made up of teams from 18 different countries.
After first being held last year, it has quickly become a significant event on the tour calendar. The draw for the group stages was held on Monday, which resulted in the USA being pitted against Australia and Great Britain in Group C.
That means a likely reunion for Fritz with world No. 18 Norrie and that pair are all too familiar with each other. Over the past five years, they have faced each other on no fewer than 13 occasions.
Fritz said: “At this point if I didn’t start my year with a Cameron Norrie matchup it just wouldn’t feel right.”
Fritz holds the slight edge in their head-to-head record, winning seven matches to Norrie’s six. Since 2019, they have come up against each other three times a season, apart from this year when they have played twice, but there will still be a couple of days left to potentially keep the record running.
The USA’s team consists of Fritz, alongside Denis Kudla, Rajeev Ram, Alycia Parks, Desirae Krawczyk and top-ranked women’s star Jessica Pegula. The Americans are also defending the title that they won last year.
Norrie will be joined on the Great Britain side by Dan Evans, Neal Skupski, Katie Boulter, Francesca Jones and Maia Lumsden.
Fritz’s last match against Norrie was less than two weeks ago in the Japan Open round of 32, with the US No. 1 winning in straight sets 6-4, 6-3. However, their previous meeting was at last year’s United Cup where Norrie was the victor 6-4, 5-7, 6-4.
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Fritz has enjoyed a solid season, winning the inaugural United Cup with the USA before reaching the semi-finals of the Dallas Open, losing to eventual champion Wu Yibing. That run elevated the 25-year-old American up to a career-high ranking of World No. 7.
But he went one better in February when he won the Delray Beach Open against Miomir Kecmanović, moving up to World No. 5. He won his second title of the year (and sixth overall) at the Atlanta Open in July, beating Aleksandar Vukic.
Fritz reached his first Grand Slam quarter-final at the US Open in New York City but was beaten by Novak Djokovic, who went on to lift the title.
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