News & Media

Hopman Cup 1997 (IX)

College graduate Justin Gimelstob and Chanda Rubin claims first prize.

Date: 29 December – 4 January 1997

Venue: Burswood Dome

Teams

Croatia South Africa Australia Romania
Goran Ivanisevic Wayne Ferreira Mark Philippoussis Adrian Voinea
Iva Majoli Amanda Coetzer Nicole Bradtke Irina Spirlea
Switzerland France Germany United States
Marc Rosset Guy Forget Bernd Karbacher Justin Gimelstob
Martina Hingis Mary Pierce Petra Begerow Chanda Rubin

Results

Final

USA 2 d South Africa 1
Chanda Rubin d Amanda Coetzer 7-5 6-2
Wayne Ferreira d Justin Gimelstob 6-4 7-6(4)
Gimelstob/Rubin d Ferreira/Coetzer 3-6 6-2 7-5

Group A

Croatia 2 d Australia 1 

Iva Majoli d Nicole Bradtke 6-4 6-3
Mark Philippoussis d Goran Ivanisevic 6-2 6-3
Ivanisevic/Majoli d Philippoussis/Bradtke 7-5 7-5

USA 2 defeated France 1

Chanda Rubin d Mary Pierce 6-4 6-1
Guy Forget d Justin Gimelstob 2-6 6-3 6-3
Gimelstob/Rubin d Forget/Pierce 3-6 6-3 6-2

Australia 2 d France 1

Mary Pierce d Nicole Bradtke 7-6(6) 6-1
Mark Philippoussis d Guy Forget 7-6(1) 6-2
Philippoussis/Bradtke d Forget/Pierce 7-6(7) 7-6(5)

USA 2 d Croatia 1

Chanda Rubin d Iva Majoli 6-3 3-6 7-6(3)
Goran Ivanisevic d Justin Gimelstob 7-6(4) 4-6 7-5
Gimelstob/Rubin d Ivanisevic/Majoli 3-6 6-3 7-6(7)

USA 2 d Australia 1

Chanda Rubin d Nicole Bradtke 7-5 6-0
Justin Gimelstob d Mark Philippoussis 7-6(4) 4-6 7-6(5)
Philippoussis/Bradtke d Gimelstob/Rubin 6-3 7-5

Croatia 3 d France 0

Iva Majoli d Mary Pierce 6-3 6-4
Goran Ivanisevic d Guy Forget (walkover)
Ivanisevic/Majoli d Forget Pierce (walkover)

Group B

Switzerland 2 d Romania 1

Martina Hingis d Irina Spirlea 7-5 6-2
Adrian Voinea d Marc Rosset (walkover)
Rosset/Hingis d Voinea/Spirlea 3-6 7-5 6-3

South Africa 3 d Germany 0

Amanda Coetzer d Petra Begerow 6-0 7-5
Wayne Ferreira d Bernd Karbacher 6-4 6-4
Ferreira/Coetzer d Karbacher/Begerow 6-3 6-4

South Africa 2 d Switzerland 1

Martina Hingis d Amanda Coetzer 6-1 6-2
Wayne Ferreira d Marc Rosset (walkover)
Ferreira/Coetzer d Rosset/Hingis (walkover)

Romania 3 d Germany 0

Irina Spirlea d Petra Begerow 6-1 6-3
Adrian Voinea d Bernd Karbacher 2-6 7-6(4) 6-2
Voinea/Spirlea d Karbacher/Begerow 6-1 6-1

South Africa 2 d Romania 1

Irina Spirlea d Amanda Coetzer 5-7 6-4 6-1
Wayne Ferreira d Adrian Voinea 7-6(9) 7-6(4)
Ferreira/Coetzer d Voinea/Spirlea 4-6 6-1 6-4

Switzerland 3 d Germany 0

Martina Hingis d Petra Begerow 6-1 6-1
Marc Rosset d Bernd Karbacher 7-6(3) 7-6(5)
Rosset/Hingis d Karbacher/Begerow 7-5 6-1

Hopman Cup 1997 summary

THE success of the round-robin competition introduced for Hopman Cup VIII naturally led to its retention, with the chance to see teams and their stars play three matches each instead of a knock-out system that occasionally robbed the crowd of the big names prematurely.

With the Hopman Cup now receiving official sanction from the International Tennis Federation, more eyes around the globe were focused on the activities. The seedings for HCIX saw the previous year’s finalists at the top, with Croatia’s Goran Ivanisevic and Iva Majoli heading the bill as they defended their Cup, with their vanquished rivals in Switzerland’s Marc Rosset and Martina Hingis taking the No. 2 spot.

The women stole the show a little with rising young top-10 stars Hingis minus her teeth braces and helped out with Perth’s Mark Hlawaty as her regular hitting partner — and Majoli, backed up by American Chanda Rubin, South African Amanda Coetzer, Romania’s Irina Spirlea and France’s Mary Pierce, the latter pair making their Hopman Cup debuts and leaving a stunning impression.

Australia were first-up with Nicole Bradtke fighting hard against Majoli in a losing cause and big-serving Mark Philippoussis notching the week’s first upset with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Ivanisevic; a victory that prompted Goran to suggest that the youngster could be top-10 in the near future. Croatia won the doubles to stay alive, 7-5 in both sets.

The French split their singles with the United States, with Rubin too good for Pierce, but Guy Forget winning a three-setter against the virtually-unknown college student Justin Gimelstob, who came in at the last minute to replace veteran American Richey Reneberg. While no-one even had a fact-file on the 155th ranked Gimelstob, we were soon to learn a lot more about this extroverted 19-year-old with just six months experience as a professional tennis player to his credit. They won a three-set doubles to have the bookmakers wondering a little after initially quoting them as 66/1 chances.

The troubles that beset Swiss star Rosset a year earlier looked as though they were continuing when a back injury forced him to forfeit to Romania’s Adrian Voinea after Hingis had beaten Spirlea. The Swiss gambled on Rosset getting through the mixed and they did that, albeit in three tough sets.

Germany had also been troubled with the late withdrawal through injury of former world No. 1 Steffi Graf and while Petra Begerow showed plenty of fight in a 7-5 second set, her nerves were evident in a 6-0 debut set loss to Coetzer. Wayne Ferreira beat Bernd Karbacher four and four and the South Africans won the mixed for a clean sweep.

Australia were back for a clash with France and though Bradtke pushed Pierce to a tie-breaker in the first set, she was downed straight, but the “Scud” was to continue his great form with a similar 7-6, 6-2 scoreline against Forget. The Aussies won two tie-breakers to claim the doubles and the 2-1 win kept their finals hopes alive.

Hingis continued her winning ways in between her roller-blading activities around the Perth foreshore dropping three games to Coetzer, but Rosset’s back wasn’t improving and he defaulted his singles at one set all and they forfeited the doubles to give South Africa a 2-1 win.

Rubin put the United States on their way to a 2-1 win over the defending champs Croatia as she beat Majoli in a thriller, 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 and while new chum Gimelstob lost to world No. 4 Ivanisevic, it was a match to remember, 6-7, 6-4, 7-5. Then the unlikely American pair took a classic three-set mixed, 7-6 in the third, nine points to seven in the tie-breaker. There was something special about the competitiveness of this unknown American whose name was quickly becoming easier to remember.

Romania had a comfortable 3-0 win over Germany, but not without some drama. The impressive Voinea was trailing Karbacher 2-6, 3-5 and saved two match points before getting off the canvas to win in three sets. Croatia rebounded with a similar 3-0 scoreline against France, with Forget troubled with injury this time, splitting the webbing on his hand.

The US ended Australia’s faint hopes with singles wins, with Gimelstob and Philippoussis producing a thriller, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6. The Aussies won the mixed, but all too late as the US clinched their finals spot.

The Session 10 double-header saw South Africa and Switzerland in with a chance of topping their group and advancing to the final. Even Romania still had a slim chance.

The South Africans, with Ferreira determined to live up to his pre-Cup promise to Amanda that they wouldn’t be early-round disappointments, had the advantage in matches and needed one rubber to secure their spot. That came in the men’s singles, albeit a tight 7-6, 7-6 contest when Ferreira downed Voinea, with the first tie-breaker points going to an enthralling 11/9. The unheralded Romanians, the 25th country to appear at the Hopman Cup, were a chance for the final if that score had gone the other way.

Hingis completed an unbeaten week to maintain her two-year record of seven singles matches without a loss, but alas, the injury to Rosset was to again thwart the Swiss in their bid for Cup glory and though they beat Germany 3-0, the final was out of their reach.

The last-day battle for the Cup, the $30,000 Argyle Diamonds tennis balls and $220,000 prizemoney for the winners was to see the fairytale story of Gimelstob come to life. Plucked off a Florida beach over the Christmas break to fill in for Reneberg, he completed a marvellous week in a place called Perth that he had only just heard of before. Knowing little about his partner other than she was American, he teamed with the talented Rubin to claim the Cup 2-1, after some more-illustrious American teams had failed in previous years.

Rubin beat Coetzer 7-5, 6-2 to remain unbeaten for the week and though Ferreira balanced the scoreboard 6-4, 7-6, Gimelstob played well enough to suggest that the US could claim the mixed, which they did 3-6, 6-2, 7-5 in a climax that was equally enthralling as the previous year and every bit as dramatic and magical as Gimelstob suddenly became an American hero.

The last rubber of the week was a thriller; 107-minutes of super tennis, with South Africa saving two match points on Ferreira’s service before the Americans gang-tackled Coetzer’s next service game to break to love and claim all the spoils.

South Africa, after four successive first-round losses, lived up to their pre-Cup pledge to be more competitive and after losing a quality final, they vowed that HCX would be their year.