Fed fit­ting start for Hop­man Cup

Stirling Times - - Sport -

SWISS ten­nis leg­end Roger Fed­erer and Belinda Ben­cic will kick off open­ing night of the Hop­man Cup against Ja­pan on De­cem­ber 30 at Perth Arena.

The Fed Ex­press, again the tour­na­ment draw­card along with Ben­cic, will play team Ja­pan, while Aus­tralia will play its first match on Sun­day, De­cem­ber 31.

Grand Slam dou­bles cham­pion Todd Wood­bridge helped kick off this year’s launch along with tour­na­ment di­rec­tor Paul Kilderry who an­nounced it would fea­ture one of the strong­est fields, in­clud­ing three top 10 play­ers.

“As a young boy grow­ing up in Perth, there was nothing bet­ter than get­ting along to the Hop­man Cup and watch­ing the stars of the game play,” Kilderry said.

“It is one of the strong­est fields ever in­clud­ing three top 10 play­ers, three grand slam sin­gles cham­pi­ons, six cur­rent top 20 play­ers and 10 cur­rent top 40 play­ers.”

“We are thrilled to wel­come back Roger Fed­erer, we didn’t quite know what we were go­ing to get as far as his play last year.

“He hadn’t played for six months and we saw him three weeks later hold­ing up the tro­phy of the Aus­tralian Open.

“We chased Roger to come to the Hop­man Cup for years and years and couldn’t quite get him, and this year for him to call us and say he’d love to come back is a real tick for the tour­na­ment.”

Mak­ing up Group A are Ger­many, Bel­gium, Canada and Aus­tralia while Group B in­cludes USA, Rus­sia, Switzer­land and Ja­pan.

Two-time Grand Slam cham­pion An­gelique Ker­ber will rep­re­sent Ger­many, along­side siz­zling young gun and cur­rent world No.4 Alexan­der Zverev.

Rus­sia will be rep­re­sented by Grand Slam cham­pion and world No.9 Svet­lana Kuznetsova, who pairs up with ris­ing male star Karen Khachanov.

Aus­tralia will be rep­re­sented by 2016 cham­pion and world No.22 Daria Gavrilova, joined by Thanasi Kokki­nakis.

www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d474688

Grand Slam cham­pion Todd Wood­bridge and Hop­man Cup tour­na­ment di­rec­tor Paul Kilderry. Pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey

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