Photo: Eisele/Giubilo/ZimmerNovak Djokovic (SRB)
Serbian duo Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic, both former world No. 1s, are the first team to be announced for the Hyundai Hopman Cup, while Bernard Tomic has confirmed he will represent host nation Australia. The ITF mixed team event, taking place from 29 December to 5 January, is being held at the brand new Perth Arena for the first time, having moved from its former home at the Burswood Dome.
Steve Ayles, Event Director, said: “I’m very pleased to announce that world No. 2 and current holder of two of the four Grand Slam titles, Novak Djokovic, will return to Perth for 2013, partnering world No. 12 Ana Ivanovic. Novak loves this event – he’s coming back for the third time in the past five years – and he’s very excited about the new venue and getting the best possible preparation for the Australian Open.”
Djokovic, a five-time Grand Slam winner, said: “I love the competition there. I love the atmosphere. You have lots of great players taking part in the tournament so it’s great preparation for the first Grand Slam of the year. I’ve reached the finals on two previous occasions, so I sincerely hope that now this time, with Ana, we can actually win a trophy.”
Ivanovic, the Roland Garros champion in 2008, said: “I’m very excited to be back, I’ve played it twice and I loved it and I’m always excited to go back. You can play mixed doubles which is kind of relaxing and fun and you get to hang out with other players so it’s a great way to start the year. I always love it and I’m sure it’s gonna be even more spectacular having it in the city centre.”
Tomic, whose Australian partner is yet to be announced, said: “I can’t wait to play against the top players in the world and get guaranteed three matches of a high standard... something great before the Australian Open. I think where Davis Cup has helped me... playing the doubles and singles a lot in practice and the opportunity to play mixed doubles is something new for me... I can’t wait to get on the court and help Australia win.”
More players and teams will be announced in the coming months.