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Roger Federer to lead strong field at Mastercard Hopman Cup

4 October 2017, by HopmanCup.com

The Mastercard Hopman Cup in 2018 will feature one of the strongest fields, including three top 10 players, as it shapes up to be one of the most exciting in the tournament’s 30-year history.

Nineteen-time Grand Slam champion and world No.2 Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland are back to play Western Australia’s most prestigious tennis competition from 30 December to 6 January at Perth Arena.

Two-time Grand Slam champion – Australian Open 2016 and US Open 2016 – and former world No.1 Angelique Kerber will represent Germany, alongside sizzling young gun and current world No.4 Alexander Zverev.

Russia will see two-time Grand Slam champion and world No.9 Svetlana Kuznetsova pair up with rising Next Gen star Karen Khachanov.

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

Belgium’s number one and world No.11 David Goffin will team up with Hobart International 2017 champion Elise Mertens.

Former world No.7 Eugenie Bouchard and Wimbledon doubles champion Vasek Pospisil will play for Canada.

This year’s finalists, America’s world No.24 Jack Sock and world No.16 Coco Vandeweghe, are back following seasons where both achieved career high rankings.

Rounding out the field are Yuichi Sugita and Naomi Osaka, marking Japan’s return to the event for the first time in 16 years.

In total, the Mastercard Hopman Cup 2018 field includes:

  • Six current top 20 players
  • Ten current top 40 players
  • Eight players who each recorded career-high rankings in 2017
  • Seven players have won ATP or WTA singles titles this year, a total of 16

Kerber, who holds 10 career singles titles, is a 2016 Rio Olympic Games silver medalist and a seasoned Fed Cup player, will make her debut at the tournament.

“I’m excited to play in Perth at the Hopman Cup for the first time,” Kerber said.

“I’ve watched the tournament from afar and have always wanted to play. The crowd and atmosphere at the arena looked incredible this year and I can’t wait to be a part of it in 2018.

“Sascha (Alexander Zverev) is such a talented player and has had an exceptional year. I know we will enjoy playing together for Germany,” Kerber added.

Zverev, the 20-year-old tennis sensation, has had a blistering 10 months on court becoming the youngest top five player since Novak Djokovic in 2007, the youngest player to win five or more titles in a season since Djokovic in the same year and the first German to do since Becker in 1996.

“I look forward to teaming up with Angie, who is a champion of our sport, and representing Germany together,” Zverev said.

“I’ve had a great time at the Hopman Cup over the last two years and feel it’s the perfect preparation to start my year ahead of the Australian Open.

“My match with Roger in January was an amazing experience with wonderful crowds who really love their tennis,” Zverev continued.

South Australia’s Kokkinakis is excited to get the call up to represent Australia in 2018 after being a reserve in 2012.

“I can’t wait. Hopman Cup is an opportunity and I’ve been wanting to play for a few years now,” Kokkinakis said.

“Obviously health hasn’t let me but I had an unbelievable experience when I was sixteen years old.

“It’s going to be unreal. To have three to four quality matches in the heat, maybe it’s hotter than it is in Melbourne and getting ready for the Aussie Open, is going to be perfect. Quality opposition – what better way to prepare?” Kokkinakis continued.

Mastercard Hopman Cup Tournament Director Paul Kilderry is pleased to host one of the strongest fields in the tournament’s history in 2018.

“The Mastercard Hopman Cup will feature one of its strongest fields in history with three top ten players and six current top 20 players coming to Perth in January,” Kilderry said.

“We have Roger Federer, world No.2 and 19-time Grand Slam champion and one of the greatest tennis players of all time, returning to Perth.

“We look forward to welcoming Angie Kerber to Perth for the very first time. We know the former world No.1 loves Australia and has had so much success here.

“To have Alexander Zverev, the young superstar back in Perth, is a fantastic addition to our field.

“He has had an outstanding year on the court and no doubt he and Angie will be a big threat to win Germany’s first Hopman Cup in 23 years.

“Australia will be represented by Thanasi Kokkinakis and Daria Gavrilova and we’re sure the public will be right behind these two.

“We also welcome Svetlana Kuznetsova, David Goffin, Jack Sock, Coco Vandeweghe and Eugenie Bouchard to Perth.

“For the first time since 2001 the Mastercard Hopman Cup will feature a Japanese team which is a fantastic addition to our field as we look to engage the Asia Pacific region more closely in 2018.”

ITF President David Haggerty added: “We look forward to beginning the New Year and the 2018 tennis season in Perth at the Mastercard Hopman Cup, the ITF’s official mixed team competition.

“In a calendar that focuses heavily on individual events, the ITF team competitions, which include Davis Cup by BNP Paribas and Fed Cup by BNP Paribas, give players a different perspective on the game and a rare opportunity to represent their country.

“I would like to extend my special thanks to our title sponsor Mastercard, as well as all other sponsors and partners who continue to support the Hopman Cup. I also want to thank all the staff for their hard work in organising and establishing the event.”

2018 field (ATP and WTA rankings as of 2 October 2017):

Australia  [212] Thanasi Kokkinakis and [22] Daria Gavrilova
Belgium [11] David Goffin and [38] Elise Mertens
Canada [84] Vasek Pospisil and [79] Eugenie Bouchard
Germany [4] Alexander Zverev and [12] Angelique Kerber
Japan [40] Yuichi Sugita and [62] Naomi Osaka
Russia    [42] Karen Khachanov and [9] Svetlana Kuznetsova
Switzerland  [2] Roger Federer and [196] Belinda Bencic
USA [21] Jack Sock and [16] Coco Vandeweghe

 

 

 

 

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