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