Cup atmosphere lures Fed back
IT might have been from the other end of his career but Roger Federer has fond memories of competing in Perth.
The Swiss maestro in 2001 combined with another legend of the sport, Martina Hingis, to form probably the greatest pairing assembled by Hopman Cup organisers in the event’s 27-year history.
“I remember it pretty graphically because I didn’t want to disappoint Martina because I remember she wanted it very, very badly,” Federer shared in a video message to announce his intent to return to Perth for next year’s Hopman Cup.
Hingis was then the world No.1 (aged just 20) and at the peak of her game, but Perth's mixed team title had alluded her.
Federer, who will partner world No.16 Belinda Bencic this time, was even younger and still two years from claiming the first of his 17 grand slam titles but in hindsight, with that much class on court, it’s hardly surprising they took the spoils.
“I think I took away a lot of great things from that week,” Federer said.
“I was watching telly this year in Brisbane and watching the great atmosphere that was happening at the Hopman Cup when Nick (Kyrgios) was playing and (Andy) Murray was playing and I just thought it would be cool to be part of that again.
“Perth Arena seemed like a really nice atmosphere and the stadium looked fantastic, so I'm looking forward to playing in it.”