HOPMAN CUP #tennis: Former USA Champions Return to Hopman Cup – Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish
New post on Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII 2011
by tony serve
Former USA Champions Return to Hopman Cup
9 October 2011
HYUNDAI Hopman Cup XXIV (Saturday 31 December 2011-Saturday 7 January 2012) will welcome back two former champions as part of another tremendously strong team from the USA with Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish looking to win for the second time individually, and first time together.
The colourful and flamboyant Mattek-Sands was victorious at Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII earlier this year teaming with John Isner to win the USA’s sixth Hopman Cup championship, but it was her outstanding tennis that stole the show.
Now she teams with 29-year-old Fish, who is in the form of his life having reached a career-high ranking of No. 7 as he looks to win the Hyundai Hopman Cup for the second time after winning alongside Serena Williams in 2008.
The USA has previously won the Hyundai Hopman Cup on six occasions but only Williams and James Blake have won it twice, so now at the 24th instalment of the tournament both Mattek-Sands and Fish will look to put themselves in that company.
Mattek-Sands was a massive hit at her first appearance in Perth earlier this year and has since gone on to achieve her career-high singles ranking of No. 30 in July.
She has also been as high as No. 11 in the doubles rankings during 2011 so she will return to Perth with her well-rounded game to partner with Fish for the first time.
Fish is certainly no stranger to the Burswood Dome having played the Hyundai Hopman Cup twice before and will arrive in 2012 in the form of his life.
Having started the year ranked No. 17 in the world, Fish has become the top-ranked American player earning his career-high position at No. 7 before now settling comfortably in the top-10.
The 29-year-old’s 2011 has included winning his sixth ATP title in Atlanta, making the final of two other tournaments and the semifinals of four others. He also had a strong Wimbledon campaign before falling in the quarterfinals to Rafael Nadal in four tough sets in the highlight of his Grand Slam year.
Tournament Director Paul McNamee knows that whatever team the USA fields in Hyundai Hopman Cup action that more often or not they are a threat to win it all, and he has no doubt that Mattek-Sands and Fish will go into this tournament as one of the favoured teams.
“Team USA is always a major threat at this tournament. This year they have two former winners in their line-up as well,” McNamee said.
“Mardy Fish is in career-best form and in the doubles they will be extremely hard to beat. They loom as a major threat once again.”
The USA team joins the already announced Australian team of Jarmila Gajdosova and Lleyton Hewitt, China’s Li Na and Wu Di,and the Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych.
Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV, the official ITF Mixed Teams Championship, runs from Saturday 31 December 2011 until Saturday 7 January 2012 at Perth’s Burswood Dome.
Hyundai Hopman Cup
144 Northwood Street
LEEDERVILLE WA 6007
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