Venus Williams and John Isner will represent the USA at Hyundai Hopman Cup, the first to be staged at the spectacular new Perth Arena.
“I’ve never been to Perth – I’ve never played the Hopman Cup, so for me it’s going to be a wonderful experience,” said Venus Williams. “I’ve watched it literally every year on TV so now I get to play, I’m very excited.”
Former world No.1 Williams is one of the most successful female athletes ever, boasting seven Grand Slam singles titles, second only to sister Serena in active players, and four Olympic gold medals, for singles in Sydney in 2000 and most recently in doubles with Serena at London 2012.
With 43 career titles to her name, Williams has enjoyed a recent resurgence to form following a comeback from illness. She reached the semifinals in Cincinatti and quarterfinals in Miami, Charleston and Rome, and with sister Serena hoisted another Wimbledon doubles trophy.
Planning his third Hyundai Hopman Cup appearance, world No.10 John Isner is a big fan of the format and the guaranteed three matches the event provides. The 206cm tall Isner is also looking forward to playing mixed doubles with Venus.
“For me it’s [Hopman Cup] the perfect way to start the year,” Isner said. “It has the pressure of matches but then it’s not exactly an ATP tournament.
“My previous two partners have been very very small. But Venus is a little bit taller so I’m not going to look like such a giant out there. She’s obviously one of the greatest players ever so I think our team has a good shot to do well,” Isner continued.
Isner has enjoyed a tremendous 2012, with highlights including a career high ranking of No.9, and collecting scalps from two of the most invincible players of the era, winning over Roger Federer on clay in a Davis Cup tie against Switzerland, and Novak Djokovic in the semifinal of Indian Wells.
He defeated Lleyton Hewitt to take out the title in Newport and also won in Winston Salem. He reached the finals at both Indian Wells and Houston.
“The US team is a formidable one with John Isner currently top ten and having a magnificent year, and Venus Williams a former number one and seven-time Grand Slam champion and multiple Olympic gold medal winner,” Event Director Steve Ayles said.
“Venus Williams is one of the most high profile sportswomen on the planet, a great athlete and an intriguing personality, and Isner has really made his mark over the past twelve months, as evidenced by his top ten ranking and the ability to take on and win over players such as Federer and Djokovic.
“Confirming both Venus and John is a major coup for Hyundai Hopman Cup and we look forward to welcoming them to Perth.
“With two highly competitive teams – Serbia and USA – confirmed, Hyundai Hopman Cup is shaping up to be a great event,” Ayles continued.
Hyundai Hopman Cup field so far:
Team Serbia: Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic
Team USA: John Isner and Venus Williams
Team Australia: Bernard Tomic
Further Hyundai Hopman Cup team announcements will be made in October.
The Hyundai Hopman Cup is the official mixed teams competition of the ITF. It will take place at the new Perth Arena from Saturday 29 December 2012 to Saturday 5 January 2013.