The Hopman Cup, a team competition of the ITF, is an annual international eight-team indoor mixed tournament that was first inaugurated in 1989. It is named in honour of Harry Hopman, one of Australia’s greatest tennis players and coaches. Hopman captained Australia to a total of 16 Davis Cup titles between 1939 and 1967. As a player, Hopman won 7 Grand Slam doubles and several mixed doubles titles.
His fame spread to the United States, where he set up his international tennis coaching school. Organizers announced earlier this year that the tournament would remain in Western Australian for the next 5 years. The state government prolonged its contract with the ITF to host the competition at Perth Arena until 2022.
Venue and participants
The Hopman Cup is staged at the beginning of every year in Perth, Australia. The competition celebrated its 25th year by relocating to the modern Perth Arena in 2013.
Since its inception, the competition has attracted an array of big-game players including John McEnroe, Yannick Noah, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Boris Becker, Pat Cash, Marat Safin, Lleyton Hewitt, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario, Martina Hingis, Justine Henin, Lindsay Davenport, Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters. The presence of some of the best players in the world has long been the tournament’s selling point.
The competition’s structure
There is no practical importance attached to the competition — no ranking points at state and no effect on the Davis Cup. Players only compete for the title. This, however, has not stopped the tournament from attracting bigger names. The tournament is structured on the round-robin format of 8 teams in 2 pools. Every tie begins with the women’s singles, followed by the men’s singles, and then the mixed doubles. The leading team in each pool qualifies for the final. The trophies awarded in 2014 and 2015 were valued at $26,000, and did use half an ounce of a solid pink diamond.