De Minaur looks to get one over Nadal

Alex de Minaur will be playing for pride and a breakthrough win against the men's all-time greatest grand slam winner - unfortunately, it won't mean a great deal for Australia.

The home side are already out of the next phase of the United Cup after Great Britain topped the group with a win over Spain, who now also can't progress any further in the competition.

It takes the gloss off what otherwise had loomed as an exhilarating Monday clash in Sydney between the 22-time grand slam champ and the local lad with perhaps the best wheels in the game as the sides meet in a dead tie.

Nadal was rested for the dead mixed doubles rubber against Great Britain but it is assumed he'll want the match practice ahead of the Australian Open against de Minaur.

He holds a 3-0 career lead over de Minaur, who is running out of opportunities to get one over the veteran who is in the twilight of his career.

The Australian was only a handful of points away from dusting off Nadal in straight sets when they met on the same court at the ATP Cup in Sydney three years ago.

But the Spaniard held his nerve before running away with the match in the third set.

"He's a great player. Playing super fast. Playing with very high intensity. Taking the ball very early. Improved the serve," Nadal said of the world No.24.

"(It's) going to be another very tough match that I need to play very well in to have any chance. So let's see."

It's going to be a very tough tie for Australia as well.

Maddison Inglis will go in as an underdog against Nuria Parrizas Diaz for the second rubber, while things will hardly get any easier on Tuesday when battler Zoe Hives is slated to face world No.13 Paula Badosa.

Jason Kubler, a first-up winner against Dan Evans, may then meet Albert Ramos-Vinolas.

Other Monday ties: US vs Germany; Greece vs Belgium; France v Croatia; Italy vs Norway; Poland vs Switzerland.