(December 27, 2012) LOS ANGELES – Tennis Channel will bring viewers tournament coverage from the 2013 Hyundai Hopman Cup beginning Tuesday, Jan. 1, at 3:30 p.m. ET. The network’s telecast will include U.S. competitions and the championship final of the annual international mixed-doubles tournament. All Hopman Cup matches, which feature teams consisting of one man and one woman, will take place at the Perth Arena in Australia, Dec. 29-Jan. 5.
The United States continues to lead all nations in Hopman Cup titles, claiming its sixth crown in the 2011 competition when Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner defeated Belgium’s Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans 2-1. This year’s mixed-doubles team features seven-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1, Venus Williams, and U.S. Davis Cup regular Isner, who is competing for his third year. Williams won her fourth Olympic gold medal when she paired with her sister Serena in the women’s doubles event in London. She also holds 13 Grand Slam doubles titles and two mixed doubles titles. Isner, currently the top-ranked American male player, won ATP World Tour titles at Winston-Salem and Newport in 2012, and defeated World No. 1 Novak Djokovic en route to the final at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
The Americans’ first challenge is France’s Jo-Wilfriend Tsonga and his country’s top female player, Mathilde Johansson. Tsonga, World No. 8, will make his Hopman Cup debut this weekend. The Frenchman had an impressive run at this year’s Wimbledon semifinals before falling to finalist Andy Murray. In 2012 he captured two ATP tournament titles and reached the finals at Beijing and Stockholm.
Coverage from Perth, Australia (all times EST):
Tuesday, Jan. 1:
3:30 p.m. – USA v. France
Thursday, Jan. 3:
3:30 p.m. – USA v. Spain
Sunday, Jan. 6:
8 a.m. – Championship
8 p.m. – Instant Encore, Championship
In their second competition, the Americans will face Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues. Verdasco became only the seventh player in eight years to beat former World No. 1 Rafael Nadal on clay when he defeated his fellow countryman in the second round of the Madrid Open in May. He reached the finals at the Mexican Open in Acapulco this year before falling to fellow Spaniard David Ferrer. Verdasco’s best performance at a Grand Slam came in the 2009 Australian Open semifinal, where he lost to Nadal after a grueling five-hour-and-fourteen-minute battle.
A number of top-ranked tennis stars are competing for this year’s Hopman Cup. This includes Serbia’s Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic, Germany’s Tommy Haas, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone and Australia’s Bernard Tomic.