Hopman Cup out, ATP Cup in for overhaul of Australia swing
PERTH, Australia (AP) — The Hopman Cup international mixed team event is making way for the new ATP Cup at the start of the 2020 tennis season in Australia.
The International Tennis Federation on Thursday confirmed an early end to the licensing agreement with Tennis Australia for the Hopman Cup, which had been scheduled to continue in Perth until 2022.
The ITF issued a statement saying it still supported a combined men’s and women’s event after three decades of success, and was searching for a new venue.
“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,” ITF president David Haggerty said. “We will keep the Hopman Cup alive and look forward to successful future editions of this unique event.”
Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic combined to win the last two Hopman Cup titles for Switzerland. Serena Williams and Steffi Graf have also been among the winners of the tournament which started in 1989.
The international season usually gets into full swing in Australia in the weeks leading into the first major of the year at Melbourne Park in January.
But the introduction of the ATP Cup has meant an overhaul in Australia for next year, with Perth joining Brisbane as a co-host of the group stage of the men’s team tournament and Sydney hosting the finals.
“The ATP Cup will launch the global tennis season for the men — this is their event ... and they’ve thrown their support behind it 100 percent,” Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley said. “Four of the top 12 male players, and eight of the top 24, will play in Perth, with 24 teams competing across three cities — Perth, Brisbane and Sydney.”
The ATP Cup has 750 rankings points, $22 million in prize money. It will feature two singles and a doubles match in each head-to-head between countries, and will run alongside the Brisbane International, which remains a season-opening event on the women’s tour.