Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Stosur in huge Aussie tennis news

Sam Stosur (pictured right) and Lleyton Hewitt (pictured left) during the Olympics.
Sam Stosur (pictured right) and Lleyton Hewitt (pictured left) have been announced as the Australian captains for the inaugural United Cup in January. (Getty Images)

Aussie tennis greats Sam Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt have been announced as the Australian captains for the inaugural United Cup next year. Stosur was named playing co-captain in an exciting move alongside fellow US Open winner Hewitt in the mixed teams event set for Brisbane, Sydney and Perth.

'TOO MUCH': Tennis world in uproar over 'ridiculous' Hopman Cup announcement

'SAD NEWS': Tennis fans in mourning after legend's devastating death

The exciting format could see Stosur team up with the likes of Nick Kyrgios or Alex de Minaur. It replaces the men's ATP Cup and mixed Hopman Cup: men and women from 18 countries to play for rankings points in a team environment to launch Australia's summer of tennis from December 29.

The competition is already building hype after it was announced Australia will play Spain in Sydney, which could also see Kyrgios take on Rafa Nadal. And Stosur said she was extremely excited for the new style tournament.

"There's been a lot of talk in recent years about the (ATP and WTA) tours combining or doing more together," she said. "This - playing for something, your country, for points - it's fantastic, a huge step forward for our sport and you never know where it can go from here."

Hopman Cup reborn in France

While the Hopman Cup won't take place in Perth at the beginning of the year, it will still feature in France. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) announced on Tuesday that the Hopman Cup will also be back in 2023 and take place in Nice, France from July 19-23.

But Stosur said this year's United Cup is "like a superstar, hyped up version of that". Australia bring a strong team into the fray with Kyrgios, de Minaur, Jason Kubler and John Peers represent the men.

Sam Stosur (pictured left) and Storm Sanders (pictured right) celebrate.
Sam Stosur (pictured left) has been named captain at the United Cup for Australia. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group via Getty Images)

While Ajla Tomljanovic, Maddison Inglis and Zoe Hives round out the team. And Stosur said she would be excited to share the court with one of the current players.

"I'll want to put myself in, but you do what's good for the team on the day," Stosur mused of her dual role.

"Playing with Nick would be an incredible experience ... and I've always loved watching Alex play, the way he goes about it is phenomenal."

Australia's No.1 men's player Kyrgios recently opted to skip the David Cup, but will appear in a lucrative Saudi Arabia exhibition tournament before returning home later in December. But Stosur said Kyrgios should enjoy the team environment at the inaugural United Cup.

"Its no secret he loves the team environment and playing in a group brings out some of his best tennis," Stosur said.

Each city will host two groups of three countries competing in a round-robin format and then play a city final, with the winners of those plus the next-best team advancing to the United Cup Final Four in Sydney from January 6-8.

Greece, led by World No.3 Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari, are the top seeds while Poland's women's World No.1 Iga Swiatek and Hubert Hurkacz are second.

Nadal, Casper Rudd, Alexander Zverev, Jessica Pegula and Stan Wawrinka will also play for their respective countries, however Novak Djokovic will be a notable absentee after Serbia failed to qualify.

with AAP

Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.