Photo: Paul ZimmerJo-Wilfried Tsonga and Marion Bartoli (FRA)
Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli and world No. 8 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will represent France at the Hyundai Hopman Cup in January, it was announced on Tuesday.
It will be a second Hopman Cup appearance for both players, but their first appearance in Perth as a pair. Bartoli reached the final alongside Richard Gasquet in 2012, falling to Tomas Berdych and Petra Kvitova, while Tsonga competed with Mathilde Johansson at this year’s event. Both are excited about the upcoming partnership.
“It’s great to play with Jo, obviously. He’s an awesome player. We have known each other for so many years. I’m sure it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Bartoli.
“I really had a blast when I played in Perth [in 2012]. I was really lucky to make the final for my first time and I really enjoyed my time on and off the court. It’s a great, fun competition to play and I’m so happy to be back.”
Tsonga, meanwhile, made his Hopman Cup debut earlier this year, winning all three of his round robin singles matches – against Fernando Verdasco, John Isner and Kevin Anderson - in straight sets.
The Perth event proved a valuable warm-up for the first Grand Slam of the year, the Australian Open, where Tsonga pushed Roger Federer to five sets before ultimately losing a thrilling quarterfinal.
“I’m just really happy to go back and hope I will have some fun like last year,” said Tsonga.
“It’s the best preparation because it’s the same court as the Australian Open. It’s always really hot there.
“I think it’s just unbelievable. I remember last year outside was 40 degrees and inside it was just perfect to play tennis.”
Hyundai Hopman Cup Event Director Steve Ayles said the acquisition of the two French stars was great news for the event.
“To have two Top 10 players such as Tsonga and Bartoli contend this unique ITF mixed teams’ event is very special and will be a fantastic spectacle for tennis fans,” Ayles said.
“Bartoli has shown she is a player of incredible talent in recent weeks and we’re excited to wlcome her back to Perth. It will be the 18th time in the competition’s history the field has boasted a reigning Grand Slam champion.”