The Hopman cup is traditionally the opening event of the tennis calendar. Although the tournament performance does not count towards official ranking points, it usually serves as a good warm up for the players ahead of the first grand slam. Held every year at the Perth Arena, the event draws huge crowds and is very popular among the West Australian tennis fans.
This year’s event was a highly entertaining one with a nice mix of players. Roger Federer partnered with Belinda Bencic representing Switzerland and as always, received unanimous support of the crowd. Alexander Zverev, who last year, took giant strides towards being a potential grand slam contender teamed up with the former Australian Open champion Angelique kerber to represent Germany. Jack Sock, who was part of that memorable Laver cup doubles match with Federer and Nadal, paired with Coco Vandeweghe representing USA. David Goffin was the only other player from the ATP top 10 to feature in the tournament.
The ladies’ and men’s singles were hard fought. But the mixed doubles were really entertaining. Jack Sock gave a tough fight to Federer with his big hitting and the match stood out as one of the most keenly contested matches of the tournament. The mixed doubles match between USA and Switzerland was fun to watch. With the tie already won by Switzerland, the match proved to be a nice breather for the players and fans alike. The tweener rally between Sock and Federer was one for the highlight reel.
As expected, Switzerland and Germany made it to the finals. With Federer clinching a clinical victory, after losing the first set, against Zverev and Kerber proving too good for Bencic, it all came down to the mixed doubles tie. Bencic quickly put the singles loss behind her and played her best tennis of the tournament in the mixed doubles match. She was immaculate with her returns, especially to Zverev and Federer was all class at the net with his sumptuous volleys. In the end the Swiss team had it easy and were worthy champions of the Hopman cup. Federer hardly broke sweat, but it was nice to see the swiss gaining some much needed court time ahead of his Australian open title defense.
Trivia: Switzerland last won the Hopman cup in 2001. Roger Federer, who was just 19 at the time, paired with then world number one Martina Hingis.