Brazil kept their hopes alive of an upset over No.5 seeds Italy after No.15 Beatriz Haddad Maia defeated No.27 Martina Trevisan 6-2, 6-0 on Day 1 of the United Cup in Brisbane.

With Italy's Lorenzo Musetti earning a point for Italy with a 6-3, 6-4 win over Felip Meligeni Rodrigues Alves, Brazil and Italy will go into Day 2 locked at 1-1. 

Friday's action will now decide the Group E tie, with Italy's Matteo Berrettini set to open play against Thiago Monteiro in the No.1 men's singles and Lucia Bronzetti facing Laura Pigossi in No.2 women's singles. If the teams split the matches, the tie will be decided in mixed doubles. 

The Hologic WTA Tour's Most Improved Player of 2022, Haddad Maia picked up right where she left off in her breakout season. The Brazilian No.1 dominated behind her serve, winning 73% of her first serve points. 

"We played in the middle of last year and it was three sets," Haddad Maia said. "I worked very hard to push myself to play my best tennis. I worked very hard in the pre-season to be as ready as I could today."

Trevisan, a semifinalist at Roland Garros last year, struggled to find any inroads. In the face of Haddad Maia's constant pressure, she held serve just once in the match, getting broken six times. 

The 1 hour and 18-minute victory moved Haddad Maia to 2-0 over Trevisan, having defeated the Italian in three sets last summer in Toronto. 

Musetti faced a spirited effort from his Brazilian opponent, whose uncle is former World No. 25 Fernando Meligeni. But in the end, his creativity and consistency proved too tough for Meligeni Alves after 73 minutes. 

"I'm happy to be here. We have a great team behind our back and I'm happy to get the first point and to get the first win here in Brisbane," Musetti said. "I'm sure tomorrow we will fight. It's not going to be easy for sure, but we will try our best. 

The United Cup is a new mixed-teams event featuring 18 countries across Brisbane, Perth and Sydney. Played over two days, ties will be comprised of two ATP and two WTA singles matches and one mixed-doubles match.

The ATP Tour contributed to this report. 

United Cup promoting equality