Thursday was the day under the sign of exciting battles between the teams who eagered reaching the semifinals of United Cup competition. Poland unleashed their heaviest guns in the battle with Italy. The rules of tournament gave three spots in SF for winners of today's ties and the last one was a "lucky loser" place, calculated on the basis of previous ties results. Poland could not count on this place in comparison with Croatia or Greece, so they needed to win today. The tie was opened with the match of Daniel Michalski who was an outsider in a match against Lorenzo Musetti. He managed to win just two games and it was 1-0 for Italy, as expected. Iga Swiatek, also as expected, past easily through Martina Trevisan, making it 1-1 for Poland. Very interesting matchup was Hubert Hurkacz against Matteo Berretini. The Italian was much more reliable on serve and more composed in taking his chances, putting Poles under huge pressure. Then it was a time for a match between Magda Linette and Lucia Bronzetti. Linette, who is unfailing in national team competitions, proved her priceless value for a team, crushing Bronzetti 6-1 6-2. It took fates of tie down to the mixed-doubles, where Poland decided to line-up Swiatek and Hurkacz. This dream-team pairing was definitely too high hurdle for Musetti and Camilla Rosatello, who managed to take just 3 games away from best polish racquets. Despite today's loss, Italy found their semifinal place as the lucky losers and both teams will play tomorrow with winners of two other today's play-offs.
It will be USA and Greece. The Americans prevailed Great Britain 4-1. This match-up was much more tight than the final result. Madison Keys opened the score for Americans, coming back for being a set down against Katie Swan. Top ranked US male - Taylor Fritz, failed in the first match against the best Brit - Cameron Norrie. Exciting three-setter with many plot twists ended up in favor of British team who equalized the score. Jessica Pegula used some less amount of nerves of her teammates, defeating Harriet Dart easily 6-2 6-0. Then, potential advance for US team was on the racquet of Frances Tiafoe. He lost the first set against Daniel Evans, and was a break down after opening game of set number two. He managed to come-back to a set which was very tight till the end. Tiafoe won it 7-5, moving into decider, where he was the only one to break despite the couple of chances on both sides. 6-3 and USA could celebrate their advance into final four.
Greece eliminated Croatia in an absolute thriller staying behind the score. Match between Stefanos Tsitsipas and Borna Coric was an absolute drama. Tsitsipas bageled his opponent in first set and was close to break his opponent in 12th game of second one. He did not convert any of both matchpoints on Coric's serve who was more clinical in tiebreak, launching the decider. It could remind the worst deamons in Tsitsipas's mind, who have a history of a few matches against Coric, when he was clearly ahead with a score and did not manage to cross the line, bottling it in Vienna last year and in the US Open 2020. This time it looked like the same story, while Coric broke Tsitsipas in final set and had a 4-1 score in his hand. This time a fate has turned and it was Coric who let go the win from his hands. The Greek broke back and displayed his A game in the decisive moments, winning it 7-5 at the end. Other results made the tie to a mixed doubles settlement, where Greece decided to line-up Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari against Croatian Borna Gojo and Petra Martic. Greek super-stars pairing managed to win in two sets and made it into SF, while Croatia was not as lucky as Italy and their loss meaned being eliminated.
Semifinals Poland vs USA and Greece vs Italy will start tomorrow and will have their remainder on Saturday.