Hopman Cup set to be axed, with funding set to be diverted to new tennis event


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The Hopman Cup is facing the axe after 30 years and is likely to be staged for the final time at Perth Arena this summer.

The Sunday Times understands the State Government — through major partner Tourism WA — is preparing to divert funding to the new ATP World Team Cup event which will come to Australia in January 2020.

The World Team Cup, to be run by the ATP and Tennis Australia, will feature $20 million in prize money to make it the richest tournament in the world outside of the grand slams. Unlike the Hopman Cup, it will also offer players the chance to play for ranking points.

The lucrative prize pool is expected to attract some of the best male players in the world, however the move means WA fans would lose top-level women’s tennis.

The Hopman Cup mixed teams tournament has brought the biggest stars of the women’s game to Perth over the past three decades, including Serena Williams, Martina Hingis and Steffi Graf.

The WA Government and TA are believed to be in detailed talks over staging one of three eight-team groups in the rebooted 24-team World Team Cup, which was given the green light by the ATP this week. Hosting the World Team Cup could require the State Government to invest in an infrastructure upgrade.

Tennis insiders have described the Hopman Cup, controlled by the International Tennis Federation, as “doomed” as the Government switches its focus to the new event

The only chance of the Hopman Cup surviving past this summer appears to be if TA and the WA Government can’t complete a deal to bring the new event to Perth.

TA believes the World Team Cup will revolutionise the Aussie tennis summer. However the Australian team, which has generally been a major attraction at the Hopman Cup, may only play in Perth every three years as part of the new teams tournament.

Perth also appears likely to miss out on hosting the final of the new event, with the pointy end of the tournament expected to be held in Sydney. Brisbane is also set to host part of the new event.

TA said it was committed to the current Hopman Cup deal and talks about the new event were only in the early stages.

“We have an agreement in place with the government to run the event until 2022 and Tennis Australia plans to honour this agreement,” TA said in a statement last night.

“Following the ATP board vote this week, the process now is for more deep engagement with major stakeholders such as the West Australian Government.”

Tourism WA directed questions on the tournament’s future to the Government. Acting Tourism Minister Bill Johnston refused to discuss the Hopman Cup’s future.

In a statement, a Government spokesperson said it was “committed to supporting world-class tennis in Perth”.

“Tourism WA will work with Tennis Australia and other partners to keep world-class tennis in Perth,” the spokesperson said.

ATP executive chairman Chris Kermode said the new event had “huge potential”.

A record 106,424 fans attended last summer’s Hopman Cup at Perth Arena, won by Swiss legend Roger Federer and partner Belinda Bencic.

Federer will return to headline this summer’s edition from December 29-January 5.

Source: https://www.perthnow.com.au/sport/t...be-diverted-to-new-tennis-event-ng-b88889392z


Bionic Poster
It is a great pity and sad loss. You can't create an institution if the event hoppies about and the final is mostly elsewhere.

I will never watch this event and will actively work to sabotage it.