- The 31st Hopman Cup starts later this month
- It could be the last!
- Germany is narrowly favored, but the US might present value.
The 2019 Hopman Cup starts on December 29th at Perth Arena, and will be played through January. As the 31st and possibly last iteration of the Hopman Cup, it’s doubly exciting.
2019 Hopman Cup Odds
|Team||2019 Hopman Cup Odds|
First-seeded Germany is understandably the favorite, with Angelique Kerber (ranked #2 WTA) and Alexander Zverev (#4 ATP) forming a formidable squad. Only Switzerland, with #54 Belinda Bencic and #3 Roger Federer, stands any chance.
The US has a great chance to sneak into the final. The team features all-time great Serena Williams, as well as promising youngster Francis Tiafoe. The US is in a group with Great Britain, Greece, and Switzerland, and should be able to win that group with the players they bring. As an American fan, you just need the mixed doubles to go your way against Switzerland.
Previous Hopman Cup Winners
It’s interesting that France, who have won twice in the last five years, are so far down the odds sheet. Their team (Alize Cornet and Lucas Pouille) just isn’t as competitive as in past years.
Hopman Cup Format
The Hopman Cup is pretty simple, much more so than other international tournaments like the Davis Cup. Each country fields a team of two players, one man and one woman. A contest between two countries, what you’d call a “tie” in the Davis Cup, plays out as follows: The women play each other. The men play each other. Then there’s a mixed doubles match, even if one side has already wont he best-of-three. Nobody gets any ranking points.
The tournament itself is remarkably simple. The eight countries are split into two groups of four, who play each other round-robin. At the end of the group stage, the winners of the two groups play each other in a final, which determines the winner of the Hopman Cup.
Why is the Hopman Cup Going Away?
To make room for bigger, badder team tennis tournament. The World Team Cup is based on the Hopman Cup formula, but adds the two things it has always needed to attract top talent: prize money and ranking points.
The World Team Cup will offer $20 million in prizes, making it the richest non-slam tournament purse in the world. It will also offer ranking points, which will help attract top players. Will this interfere with the Davis Cup? Probably! But since the Davis Cup isn’t the property of the ATP or the WTA, neither of those tours will mind.
As the ATP announces its World Team Cup for 2020 in London today and with the Davis/Kosmos Cup set for November 2019, we have our answer: tennis really is this clueless. What a collective failure of vision https://t.co/YDjsZwBz1W
— Christopher Clarey (@christophclarey) November 15, 2018
Don’t cry because the Hopman Cup is over, smile because it became too valuable an asset for its own structure. International team tennis is going to get better, although not without changing things.