Around 21 years after my first trip to the Hopman Cup I made a return visit this week. Pauline and I spent Wednesday watching some fantastic tennis amongst great company.
The first time I went to the Burswood Dome to see a Hopman Cup session was in late December 1990 and I watched the Italian team of Paolo Canè and Raffaella Reggi beaten by the Yugosalvian duo of Goran Prpic and Monica Seles, who then went on to conquer the US team for the 1991 title. To cut a long story short I was seated in the Italian team’s private box enjoying some generous hospitality and the company of the Italian players when they weren’t on court.
All these years later, Pauline and I were invited to share a court-side box to watch Bulgaria’s team of Grigor Dimitrov and Tsvetana Pironkova defeat Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen and Caroline Wozniacki.
The Hopman Cup is a mixed competition where male and female players are together on combined teams and represent their country. Players are invited to attend.
Eight nations are selected annually to compete in the Hopman Cup. Each team consists of one male player and one female player. Each match-up between two teams at the championships consists of:
One women’s singles match
One men’s singles match
One mixed doubles match
Each year the eight competing teams are separated into two groups of four (with two teams being seeded) and face-off against each of the other three teams in their group in a round-robin format. These seedings ensure that each group has approximately similar strength. The top team in each group then meet in a final to decide the champions. – Wiki
Caroline Wozniacki is the current women’s world number one player so we were assured of some great tennis right from the start. The women’s match went for around two and a half hours, the longest match of the cup. Wozniacki won the match for Denmark but Bulgaria won both the men’s and nixed doubles matches. The program told us that sessions could last for around five hours. This Session lasted seven hours with a lot of hard fought games throughout a rather warm day.
I’m hoping that it won’t be another 21 years before I get to enjoy the Hopman Cup again.
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