As regular readers of this blog will be aware, I embarked on an epic tennis adventure around the nation last year, stopping in at four cities. One of these was Perth, where I paid my first ever visit to Western Australia and the Hopman Cup.
Now, even though I had an absolute blast last year, I was tossing up whether to go to Perth again this year, because when you live in a country as big as Australia, flights clear across the country are expensive. It's like a punch directly to the wallet. But with the announcement of some of the teams, I think my decision's been made for me. I couldn't not go.
John Isner and Serena Williams are the American entry, and they have to be the top seeds for sure. Big Is played there last year (opposite tiny Melanie Oudin) and I think Perth will be very glad to see him back! And Serena, well… pulling a #1 player is a huge coup for an exhibition tournament like Hopman Cup! I'm assuming they pay appearance fees and that their bucket of money is very deep indeed, because they've also got Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic. (I know Ana's ranking is not that high, but I still think she could demand big time fees!)
Oh, and Justine Henin, partnered with Steve Darcis. Minor coup. Pfft.
And then there's the French team! Gael Monfils is going to be very entertaining, and I'm really looking forward to seeing his partner, Kristina Mladenovic, one of the top juniors in the world. And Lleyton Hewitt is back (again), with a yet to be decided partner.
It would be pretty hard to dream up an exho field better than this! This has the two finalists from this year's AO and I for one am gagging to see them play. Perth 2011, here I come!
3 weeks ago