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Wednesday October 10, 2012

Favourites Tsonga, Verdasco to play in Hopman Cup

SYDNEY: French world No.6 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will boost a strong line-up for this year’s Hopman Cup mixed teams event in Perth, organisers said yesterday.

Tsonga, the 2008 Australian Open finalist, joins Novak Djokovic, Ana Ivanovic, Tommy Haas, Andrea Petkovic, Bernard Tomic and Venus Williams for the 25th Hopman Cup, from Dec 29-Jan 5.

“It’s really good because I will arrive really early to Australia and I will be able to play three matches to prepare for the Australian Open (in January),” said Tsonga at the official launch.

“I heard that they built a new arena similar to Rod Laver Arena (Australian Open), so it’s going to be just perfect for me to play, it’s going to be fun,” he said. Tsonga will team with Mathilde Johansson, who broke through this year to reach the third round at the French Open and the final at Bastad in Sweden.

Fernando Verdasco, ranked 23, was also confirmed as a starter and he will again team with Anabel Medina Garrigues to represent Spain.

Event director Steve Ayles said the addition of Tsonga and Verdasco made the Hopman Cup 2013 field one of the strongest ever.

“With nine of the 16 players either currently or formerly ranked in the top 10, and with three men in the ATP World Tour top 12, this tournament will showcase some of the world’s most talented and charismatic players,” he said.

Olympic doubles gold medallist Venus Williams will team with John Isner to represent the United States, with current world No.2 Novak Djokovic and former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic combining for Serbia. — AFP

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