New Innovation Sees The Death Of The 31-Year-Old Hopman Cup - UBITENNIS
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New Innovation Sees The Death Of The 31-Year-Old Hopman Cup

It is the end of an era for an event loved by many players and fans.




Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic at the 2019 Hopman Cup (image via

When the Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic triumphed at the Perth Arena earlier this year, many knew it was the start of the end for the Hopman Cup.


The mixed team tournament has been fixture in the calendar since 1989. Over the years it has welcomed some of the biggest names in the sport. Including Serena Williams, Goran Ivanisevic, Steffi Graf, Petr Korda, Monica Seles, John McEnroe, Novak Djokovic and many more. The event had been a huge hit with both players and fans due to their unique format, where one man and one woman team up to represent their country. The teams will then participate in the group stages with the top two progressing to the final.

“I want to see international tennis here in Perth. If it’s the Hopman Cup, that’s great. If it’s not, then it’s a pity. We had an unbelievable event here for so many years.” 20-time grand slam champion Federer told reporters in January.
“These events like the Laver Cup and other team competitions back in the day, they get the players closer together – men and women.
“We share a lot of tournaments together, but it’s not the same as when you play together or share the same court.
“The players have always enjoyed this event, and let’s hope it continues in some way shape or form.”

Unfortunately for the Hopman Cup, it will not be continuing in the future due to a brand new team event coming to Australia. From 2020 the ATP Cup will be the top attraction for the men in January. 24 teams will take place in the round-robin event across three cities in the area. Held over 10 days, the ties will consist of two singles and one doubles matches. On offer will be a maximum of 750 ranking points for the winner as well as a mouthwatering prize money pool of $15 million.

“The ATP Cup will launch the global tennis season for the men – this is their event, it means a lot to them and they’ve thrown their support behind it 100 percent,” Tennis Australia CEO Craig Tiley said in a statement.

The Hopman Cup had been set to continue until 2022 under a deal struck with the local government. However, negotiations between the ATP, International Tennis Federation (ITF) and government officials have agreed an early exit.

The only consolation for Perth, which has been the home of the Hopman Cup, is that the city has been named as one of the venues for the ATP Cup. Alongside Perth and Brisbane. However, women’s tennis will not longer take place in Perth. Mark McGowan, who is the Premier of Western Australia, has said he will work with Tennis Australia to try and create and new women’s event in the region.

“Tennis holds a special place in the hearts of many WA people, myself included, and the ATP Cup will ensure we build on that tradition and provide fans with more opportunities to experience world-class tennis in Perth.” Said Paul Papalia, Western Australia Minister for Tourism.
“This new tournament is expected to attract even more media interest, which will provide a valuable opportunity to promote Perth and our State to a global audience,” he added.

Hopman Cup 2.0?

Whilst it is the end of an era for the Hopman Cup, the ITF is hopeful that they can bring to life a similar competition. David Haggerty, who is the president of the governing body, has indicated that there has been strong interest in another mixed event.

“The ITF is committed to upholding the core values of the Hopman Cup in the future and is encouraged by the interest that has already been expressed,” Haggerty told The Associated Press. “We will keep the Hopman Cup alive and look forward to successful future editions of this unique event.”

It has been no secret that another organisation is already working on these plans. Kosmos gained notoriety for their involvement in the transformation of the Davis Cup. Pledging to invest $3 billion in the event over a 25-year period. From this year, the finals will take place over a week with 18 teams participating.

Beyond the Davis Cup, Kosmos has also outlined their desire to embark upon other tennis competitions. Including the possibility of creating a mixed team event during April. The event could potentially take place during the same weekend as the Davis Cup ties would have taken place under the old format.

“We are working on different projects but with a basis: to improve the lives of tennis players who complain about the denseness of their calendar, we have two (spare) weeks to release and improve it,” Kosmos CEO Javier Alonso told Marca is February.

It is unclear as to when or if a new event will come to life. If it does, it will not be an easy task filling the void left behind by the prestigious Hopman Cup.


Alexander Zverev Pushed But Manages To Beat Isner As Europe Storms To Lead In Laver Cup

The German gave Team Europe a massive lead after winning a tight match.




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Alexander Zverev needed a trademark ” Laver Breaker” to beat the 6ft 10 Amercian John Isner 7-6, 6-7, 10-5 in two hours and 17 minutes on the saecond day of the Laver Cup.


The German hit 13 aces in the match, meanwhile Isner went 0 for 3 on breakpoints.

” I think in this format playing John (Isner) is one of the toughest opponents there can be and he is the best server of all time plus he was hitting the ball extremely hard and well today,” said Zverev.
To be honest I played a pretty good match,” he added.

In the first set, both players had zero issues holding serve. In the opening tiebreak it was extremely tight but the world number four managed to get the crucial break at 4-3 and that was enough for him to serve out the first set.

The second frame stayed on serve until 3-3 when the American had two chances to break but the Hamburg native managed to save both. In the following game he responded by earning three break points of his very own but Isner saved all three and held serve.

Isner had another chance at 5-5 but was unable to convert and again proceedings went into another tiebreaker to decide the second set. In that breaker, the world number 22 jumped out to a 3-0 lead before the German responded winning the next three points to make it 3-3.

After that, it stayed on serve until 7-6 and it was the American who managed to break Zverev to win the second set and force a match tiebreak to decide the match.

The first four points went on serve and it was the German who got the first break and jumped out to a 6-3 and that lead was enough for him to serve out the match and give Team Europe a 7-1 lead.

After the match in his on-court interview, Zverev spoke about the second set and the level both he and Isner was playing at.

” Even the second set that I lost I didn’t do many things wrong so it shows that the match was very high level and obviously happy to give Team Europe the lead”. He said.

Day 2 results :

In the first match of the day, the Aussie Nick Kyrgios faced Stefanos Tsitsipas and it was the world number three who took the match in straight sets 6-3, 6-4 in one hour and 26 minutes.

After the match, Krygios mentioned in his post-match press conference that the Laver Cup would be the last event he played in 2021, stating that his mother’s health is not doing well and he is planning to return to Australia to be with her.

In the night session Danil Medvedev, the current US Open champion, took on Denis Shapovalov and the Russian only needed one hour and 15 minutes to beat him 6-4, 6-0 to give Team Europe a 9-1 lead.

In the last match of the day, a doubles clash featuring Tsitsipas and Andrey Rublev took on Isner and Krygios, and again it was the Europeans who managed to win 6-7, 6-3, 10-4.

Day 3 Preview :

On Sunday Team Europe will have a chance to clinch the trophy in their first match as they only need two more points and on Sunday a win is worth three. The day will start with a doubles match featuring Rublev and Zverev taking on Shapovalov and Rielly Opelka.

In singles, Zverev will face Felix Auger Aliassime, Medvedev will face Diego Schwartzman, and the last match scheduled is Isner vs Tsitsipas.

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James Duckworth beats Ilya Ivashka to reach the final in Nur Sultan




James Duckworth has reached his first ATP Tour after his 6-3 7-6 (7-4) win over Ilya Ivashka after 2 hours and 2 minutes at the Astana Open in Nur Sultan. 


Duckworth converted his third break point in the fourth game to win the first set 6-3.

Ivashka broke serve in the fourth game of the second set to take a 3-1 lead. Duckworth broke straight back in the fifth game. Duckworth fended off two set points at 4-5 in the second set.  Ivashka saved two break points. Duckworth got two mini-breaks to earn three match points at 6-3. Ivashka pulled one of the two mini-breaks, but Duckworth sealed the tie-break 7-4 on his second match point. 

“I am really excited. I am thrilled. It was a really tough match. Ilya has been playing some great tennis. We have played twice already this year. Both times went to three sets”, said Duckworth. 

Ivashka won the title in Winston Salem and claimed 11 of his past 12 matches before today’s match against Duckworth. 

Duckworth set up a final against Sonwoo Kwon, who rallied from one set down to beat Alexander Bublik 3-6 7-5 6-3 after two hours and four minutes to advance to his first ATP Tour final. 

Bublik earned the first break of the match in the eighth game to win the first set 6-3. Kwon broke in the second game to take a 2-0 lead. Bublik converted his sixth break-back point in the third game to hold serve. Kwon saved a break point in the ninth game before breaking serve in the 12th game to close out the second set 7-5. Kwon broke serve in the fourth game to win the third set 6-3. 

“It will be a tough match. Kwon is more of a baseliner. I will have to be ready. I am just going to recover the best I can and come out tomorrow and see what happens”, said Duckworth.

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Maria Sakari reaches her first WTA Tour final since 2019 in Ostrava




Maria Sakkari has reached her first WTA Tour final since 2019 after nine consecutive tour-level semifinal defeats, by beating number 1 seed Iga Swiatek 6-4 7-5 after 1 hour and 51 minutes at the J&T Banka Ostrava Open. 


Sakkari won her only title on the clay court of Rabat. Swiatek had never lost a tour-level semifinal and had a win-loss record of 2-0 in her semifinals played in 2021. The Greek player lost to Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals in Ostrava last year. 

Sakkari has extended her win-loss record to 2-0 in her head-to-head matches against Swiatek. In their only previous match Sakkari beat Swiatek in the French Open quarter final last June ending the Pole’s Roland Garros title defense. 

Sakkari won 77% of her first service points and hit 22 winners to 19 unforced errors. 

Sakkari hit a forehand winner to earn her only break in the opening game of the first set. The Greek player did not face a single break point in the first set. 

Sakkari had to save a break point at the start of the second set before holding serve for 2-2. Sakkari earned the break in the fifth game to take a 3-2 lead. Swiatek broke back in the eighth game to draw level to 4-4. 

Sakkari converted her third break point with a forehand winner down the line to take a 6-5 lead and sealed the win on her first match point. 

Sakkari set up a final against Estonia’s Anett Kontaveit, who cruised past Petra Kvitova 6-0 6-4 after 1 hour and 11 minutes. The Estonian player scored her third top 10 win of the year after beating Sofia Kenin in Stuttgart and Bianca Andreescu in Eastbourne. She has reached her fourth final in 2021 after winning her second career title in Cleveland, finishing runner-up to Jelena Ostapenko in Eastbourne and sharing the Grampians Trophy with Ann Li after the final was not played due to a scheduling delay. 

Kontaveit hit 18 winners to just 7 unforced errors. Kvitova made 28 unforced errors to 11 winners. Kontaveit broke serve three times to take a bagel win in the first set, as Kvitova made 16 unforced errors to just 2 winners. 

Kvitova won her first game in the opening game of the second set. Kontaveit broke serve at love in the fifth game with a backhand winner to take a 3-2 lead.Kvitova saved a match point to hold serve to hold serve for 5-4 and hit a lob to earn her first break point of the match in the next game, as Kontaveit was serving for the win. Kontaveit saved it and closed out the match by forcing a final eror from Kvitova with a big backhand.  

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