Serena Williams And Roger Federer To Clash On New Year’s Day At Hopman Cup - UBITENNIS
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Serena Williams And Roger Federer To Clash On New Year’s Day At Hopman Cup

The full line-up for the mixed-team event has been announced.



Multiple grand slam champions Serena Williams and Roger Federer are set to return to Perth at the start of 2019 to play in the annual Hopman Cup.

Recent US Open finalist Williams will play in the event for the first time since 2016. The American has effectively ended her season early after pulling out of this week’s China Open in Beijing. Williams will play in the mixed team competition alongside world No.41 Frances Tiafoe. Earlier this year the 20-year-old won his first ATP title at the Delray Beach Open.

“I always enjoy playing in Western Australia in front of the crowd at Perth Arena. The Aussie fans are so warm and supportive and the Hopman Cup always gives me a great start to the season, especially ahead of the Australian Open,” Williams told
“I haven’t played with Frances in mixed doubles before, but have watched him from a far this year. He has a very bright future and I’m looking forward to being on court with him, it will be a lot of fun.”

37-year-old Federer will once again team up with Belinda Bencic in a bid to win the tournament for a second consecutive year. In January Switzerland defeated Germany (Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev) 2-1 in the final.

The 2019 tournament will feature the clash between America and Switzerland on New Year’s Day. It will be the first time that tennis titans Williams and Federer have faced each other on the court. The Hopman Cup ties features two singles matches and one in the mixed doubles.

“The Mastercard Hopman Cup will welcome two of the greatest tennis players in history to Western Australia in 2019,” tournament director Paul Kilderry said.
“In total we will have four Grand Slam singles champions, three top 10 players and eight top 20 players.” He added.

A total of eight teams will play in the 31st edition of the exhibition event. Other entrants include Ashleigh Barty and Matthew Ebden representing the home nation. Australia has only won the Hopman Cup twice with the last occurring in 2016.

“I’m really excited to be back at the Hopman Cup,” Barty said.
“The fans are amazing and Perth Arena is phenomenal. It’s one of my favourite courts around Australia. The fans are passionate, they love their sport, and I think it’s the perfect preparation leading into the Australian Open.”

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David Ferrer and Garbine Muguruza will join forces for the first time. Ferrer is set to officially retire from tennis next year during the European clay-court season. Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari will be only the second Greek team to play in the Hopman Cup. Meanwhile, Cameron Norrie and Katie Boulter will represent Great Britain.

The Hopman Cup has a contract with Tennis Australia until 2022, but its future remains in serious doubt. Starting in 2020, the ATP will bring back the World Team Cup at the start of the year. The event will take place in Australia across different locations. Players will be attracted to the tournament, which has a prize money pool of AUS$20 million as well as ranking points up for grabs.

“We’ve got a contract through to 2022 with the government and our intent is to honour that contract,” Kilderry the the Australian Associated Press.
“The world of tennis is more political at the moment than I’ve ever seen in my 30 years of being around it.
“The Davis Cup has changed – there’s a lot of change at the moment. I don’t think anyone has a real clear outlook on it.
“We’ve just got to focus on this year’s event, have a great event and our intent is to honour the contract we have.”

The upbeat comments from Kilderry is by no means a reassurance about how much longer the Hopman Cup can last for. Perth has been mentioned about one of the possible locations for the new World Team Cup.

The Hopman Cup will take place between December 29th – January 5th.

2019 teams

Australia: Matt Ebden and Ash Barty
France: Lucas Pouille and Alize Cornet
Germany: Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber
Great Britain: Cameron Norrie and Katie Boulter
Greece: Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari
Spain: David Ferrer and Garbine Muguruza
Switzerland: Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic
USA: Frances Tiafoe and Serena Williams

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Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka dig deep to set up re-match against Barbora Krejikova and Katerina Siniakova in Indian Wells doubles final



Unseeded team Elise Mertens and Aryna Sabalenka had to dig deep to beat Gabriela Dabrowski and Xu Yifan 6-2 7-6 (7-5).

Mertens and Sabalenka built up a 6-2 5-2 lead, but Dabrowski and Yifan won three consecutive games thanks to a break-back in the ninth game to draw level to 5-5. Mertens and Sabalenka took the 7-5 edge in the tie-break.

“Two days ago I lost my singles match and then I went to play doubles and we won that match. For me that’s the best recovery. It’s always nice to play doubles and stay in a tournament especially in this tennis paradise. It’s cool to be here. It does not matter singles or doubles”,said Sabalenka.

The Belgian and Belarusian team set up a doubles final against reigning Roland Garros and Wimbledon doubles champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova, who battled past Chan Hao Ching and Latisha Chan 5-7 7-6 (7-5) 10-6 after saving match points in a hard-fought second set.

Mertens and Sabalenka will be looking to take a re-match against Siniakova and Krejcikova, who came back from one set down to win 2-6 6-2 6-3 of the Australian Open third round match.





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Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos advance to the Indian Wells doubles final in their second tournament as a team



Nikola Mektic and Horacio Zeballos have advanced to the Indian Wells final in just their second tournament as a team after beating Oliver Marach and Mate Pavic 7-6 (7-3) 7-6 (7-3) on Thursday.

Mektic and Zeballos earned the first break in the second game and held on their service game to open up a 3-0 lead. Marach and Pavic won three consecutive games with a break-back in the fifth game to draw level to 3-3. The first set went on serve with no breaks of serve en route to the tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos sealed the tie-break 7-3 on the first of their three break points.

The second set went on serve with no breaks until the tie-break. Mektic and Zeballos converted the first of their third set points to wrap up the tie-break 7-3. The Argentine and Croatian player won 75 % of their service games.

“It’s crazy because most of the teams know each other for a long time. We are enjoying it, we are having a really nice time together on the court and I think we are both good players, so that’s why I think it’s working. It would be great. This is amazing. This is my first ATP Masters 1000 final, so I am happy ”, said Zeballos.

Zeballos has clinched 11 ATP Tour doubles titles and reached eight finals, but he will play his first Masters 1000 title match.

Novak Djokovic and Fabio Fognini will take on Poland’s Lukasz Kubot and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo in the other semifinal.

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Gael Monfils In Doubt For Miami Masters

The top 20 player has once again been hit by injury woes following a successful start to 2019.



Gael Monfils (photo by chryslène caillaud, copyright @Sport Vision)

France’s top ranked male player is unsure if he will be able to play in next week’s Miami Masters after being forced to withdraw from the BNP Paribas Open on Thursday.

Gael Monfils pulled out of his quarter-final clash with Dominic Thiem due to a problem with his Achilles. During a press conference, the world No.19 confirmed that he has inflammation in his left Achilles after undergoing a scan. An issue that has been bothering Monfils over the past couple of days.

“I felt my left Achilles a little bit. Day after day I have been treating it with my team. And last night (Wednesday) after my match, it was actually not so good.” Monfils told reporters in Indian Wells yesterday.
“I tried a little jog in the morning, and I couldn’t really actually push on it.”
“I had an ultrasound with the doctor here (in Indian Wells), and we could see, like, a big inflammation.” He added.

Whilst not a severe injury, it is in unclear as to how long the recovery process will be. Raising the chances of Monfils skipping the Miami tournament, which relocates to the Hard Rock Stadium this year. He has already missed the past two editions of the Masters 1000 event. In 2017 he was sidelined by an ankle injury, followed by a back issue in 2018.

“It depends how fast I will heal. Definitely try the other treatment tonight.” He said.
“I will take it really easy with everything and then see how I feel, if I feel that I can play Miami or not.
“So far it’s tough to say how long, but I will stay positive and hope in a couple days I’ll be fine.”

The setback comes after what has been a solid start to the season for the Frenchman. His win-loss record for 2019 currently stands at 14-4. At the Rotterdam Open Monfils won the eighth title in his career and only the second at an ATP 500 event. He also reached the semi-finals of tournaments in Rotterdam and Dubai.

“Sometime, some people are more fragile. And I guess I’m kind of fragile with some parts of my body.” The 32-year-old admits. “That’s why I always try new routines.”
“I guess I need to stay tough mentally, because it’s never easy. But I have been through that. I have no fear, I know, for this one (injury.”

As a result of his withdrawal, Thiem will play Milos Raonic in the semi-finals at Indian Wells on Friday.

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