Former U.S. Open finalist Leylah Fernandez led Canada to a 2-1 victory over Chile in its opening United Cup match on Sunday in Sydney.
Fernandez defeated Daniela Seguel 6-3, 6-2 before Nicolas Jarry leveled the Group B tie for Chile by beating Steven Diez in straight sets in Sydney.
Diez had replaced Felix Auger-Aliassime who was rested with a minor knee issue.
Fernandez and Diez then clinched the deciding mixed doubles against Seguel and Tomas Barrios Vera 7-5, 4-6, 10-8 to seal the tie for the Canadians.
“I’m extremely happy with the way I played,” world No. 35 Fernandez said after her 73 minute win over Seguel. “It wasn’t the greatest match because it is my first match of the season, the nerves, but I’m extremely happy with the way that I was able to manage it.”
In Perth, Great Britain’s Katie Boulter stunned fifth-ranked Jessica Pegula in Group C rallying from a set down to win 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 in nearly three hours.
The Americans drew level when 10th-ranked Taylor Fritz defeated Cameron Norrie 7-6 (5), 6-4 to force a deciding mixed doubles match.
Pegula and Fritz then combined for victory over Boulter and Neal Skupski 1-6, 7-6 (4), 10-7 that sealed the tie for the defending champions.
The Americans will qualify for the quarterfinals if they win their final match against Australia. All three teams still have a chance of qualifying if Australia beats the US in the last group match.
Later Sunday, men’s No. 1 Novak Djokovic returns to Perth for the first time since the 2013 Hopman Cup when he leads Serbia in its first Group E match against Zhang Zhizhen of China.
China won its opening tie against the Czech Republic 3-0 and a victory over Serbia would clinch a quarterfinals berth.
Mixed teams from 18 countries are playing in Perth and Sydney in what doubles as a warmup for the Australian Open. The format is a men’s and women’s singles and a mixed doubles.