ITF targets 2021 return for Hopman Cup

Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland celebrate after defeating Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev of Germany in the final during day eight of the 2019 Hopman Cup (by Will Russell/Getty Images)

International Tennis Federation president David Haggerty has said the Hopman Cup will return in 2021, adding that the world governing body has received hosting rights interest in the mixed-gender tournament from every continent.

The ITF commenced a search for a new host of the Hopman Cup in March after bringing an early end to its deal with Tennis Australia. The announcement was made as Perth was confirmed as the final host city for the new ATP Cup tournament, which is set to take the Hopman Cup’s popular pre-Australian Open warm-up slot in the calendar.

The long-standing mixed men’s and women’s tournament was due to take place in Perth through to 2022, but the ITF reached an agreement with Tennis Australia to end the licensing deal with immediate effect.

Haggerty, who was last month re-elected as ITF president, told the Reuters news agency: “Our plan is to re-introduce it for 2021. We don’t have plans for the Hopman Cup in 2020 but we are going out to the market for expressions of interest and we have already had quite a few enquiries.”

Taking place from December 29 to January 5, this year’s Hopman Cup proved a popular one, with the highlight being the first-ever match between tennis greats Roger Federer and Serena Williams. Haggerty said that the event could yet remain in Australia, adding: “It could really be anywhere in the world and any time in the calendar. The reason to do the expressions of interest is really to get the feedback from the nations and cities that have an interest and see what their proposal would be. I can confirm we have interest from every continent.”

Haggerty said the Hopman Cup remains an important part of the ITF’s efforts for equality in the sport. “We know how successful the Hopman Cup was last year with Serena playing for the United States and Roger representing Switzerland,” he said.

“When they played the mixed doubles it filled the stadium with over 15,000 fans. Any tournament would love to have that even for their singles final. We know that when men and women come together it’s one of the great things for our sport.”