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.

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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 hopmancup.com.
“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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Rafael Nadal joins star-studded Rotterdam field

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World number 2 and 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal will return to Rotterdam to play at the 48th edition of the ABN Amro World Tennis Tournament from 1 to 7 March 2021. 

 

Nadal joins a star-studded line-up which already features 2020 ATP Finals champion Danil Medvedev three-time Grand Slam champion Stan Wawrinka, 2014 US Open finalist Kei Nishikori, 2019 Next Gen ATP Finals champion and 2020 Sofia ATP 250 Tour winner Jannik Sinner. 

Nadal made his debut in Rotterdam in 2008 but he lost to Italy’s Andreas Seppi in the second round. One year later the Spanish legend lost to Andy Murray in the final. 

Nadal claimed his 13th Roland Garros title and his 20th Grand Slam trophy last year tying Roger Federer for most Grand Slam men’s singles titles. He was ranked in top 10 for record 800 consecutive weeks from 25 April 2003, including 209 total weeks as World number 1 following 160 consecutive weeks as world number 2. He earned his 1000th career win in Paris 2020 and boasts most ATP Masters 1000 match victories (389) and second most titles, including 11 in Monte-Carlo, 9 in Rome and 5 in Madrid. He joined André Agassi as the first to male players to complete career Grand Slam and win Olympic gold medals in singles in Beijing 2008 and in doubles in Rio de Janeiro 2016 alongside his compatriot Marc Lopez.   

“What applied to his debut in 2008 in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament, still applies. Rafa is again in second place in the ATP Rankings. That shows how unique it is. Non-stop in the top 10 since April 2005. There is no one who will be close to this, or will match him for a long time to come. We had annual contact about him playing in Rotterdam, but it did not fit into the schedule. Now that the season looks different in terms of planning, he was open to coming back to Rotterdam. Of course we seized the opportunity. It would be great if we could add to our Ring of Champions next March. It’s no secret that Nadal is one of my all-time favourite players. The intensity he brings to the court is unparalled. His fighting spirit in combination with his unique technique is an example for everyone. The fact that he returns to Rotterdam after so many years makes it extra special, of course”, said Tournament Director and former Wimbledon champion Richard Krajicek. 

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina decides to skip the Australian Open

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Alejandro Davidovich Fokina decided to skip the Australian Open after being tested to covid-19. Fokina is asymptomatic, while his coach had minor symptoms. The young Spanish player should have faced 14 days of quarantine before training for three days ahead of the Australian Open, but decided to focus on the European Indoor tournaments. His season will start with two Challenger tournaments. Davidovich Fokina reached the semifinal in Estoril in 2019 as qualifier and the fourth round at the US Open in 2020 at the age of 21. 

 

“My coach and I tested positive to Covid-19 14 days ago and could not get on our plane to Melbourne last Thursday. Jorge had minor symptoms and I was practically asymptomatic. We have thought that even with the possibility of travelling in the next three days, having to do another 14-day quarantine, training three days and playing to the best of five sets could be dangerous and harmful for the rest of the season because the probability of injury is very high. We will try to obtain some wild cards to play at two challengers and start getting the rhythm and shape to face the European Indoor Tour the best way possible. On one hand I feel very sad because I am missing the first Grand Slam of the year but on the other hand I am glad that we have confronted the virus without any complications and I am ready to start training and competing again”, wrote Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on his twitter account. 

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Monte-Carlo postpones the ticket sales for the 2021 edition

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The uncertainty due to the coronavirus pandemic in Europe forced the tournament management of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters to postpone the start of the ticket sales for the 2021 edition scheduled from 11 to 18 April 2021. 

 

This decision affects Italian and French tennis fans. A large part of the crowd who attend the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters comes from France and Italy. 

The management of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters confirmed that the tournament will be held with a partial presence of the crowd. The 2020 edition of the monegasque tournament was cancelled. 

The tournament management published this brief announcment on its official website: 

“Dear viewers, we remind you that the Rolex Monte-Carlo Masters will take place from 10 to 16 April 2021, no doubt with limited public access. Unfortanetely, given the current unfavourable health situation, the opening of our ticket office, which we hoped to keep on 19th January, must be postponed. In any case, we hope to be able to give you positive news shortly, and at the moment we invite to consult our website and our social networks for up-to-date information. We remain confident that we will be able to welcome you to the Monte-Carlo Country Club from 10 April 2021, for the 114th edition of the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters”. 

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