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Western Australian Government invests in Serena Williams to play at Hopman Cup
Serena Williams is set to face Roger Federer in her first event of the 2019 tennis season when the USA play Switzerland in the mixed doubles at the Hopman Cup in Perth at the end of year.
Securing Williams, who has not played since her controversial US Open final defeat by Naomi Osaka in September, for the tournament is a major coup for the Western Australian Government’s Tourism WA agency.
The 23-time Grand Slam champion partners Frances Tiafoe, while 20-time Grand Slam winner Federer and Belinda Bencic will seek to defend their title.
Williams will be playing in Australia for the first time since winning the 2017 Australian Open while eight weeks pregnant, having missed last year's tournament as she was not fully fit to return following the birth of daughter Olympia.
Backing Williams, who last played the Hopman Cup in 2015, to play in Perth comes in addition to funds spent on having Federer compete at the event.
The presence of high profile stars at a generally quiet time in the sporting calendar, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, is seen by Tourism WA as important part of promoting Western Australia.
Roger Federer’s interaction with a quokka on Rottnest Island while in Perth for the Hopman Cup at the end of last year was seen as being a huge boost for the agency.
Commenting on the presence of Williams and Federer at the tournament, Western Australian Tourism Minister, Paul Papalia stated “what better reason for interstate and overseas tennis fans to travel to WA than the unique opportunity to see Serena Williams and partner Frances Tiafoe represent the United States and take on Swiss team Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic for the first time.
"With Williams and Federer considered to be two of the greatest tennis players of all time, this highly anticipated match will attract worldwide attention and promote Perth and our State on the global stage.
"World-class events such as the Mastercard Hopman Cup play a vital role in driving visitation and changing perceptions of Perth, which is part of the State Government's Two-Year Action Plan to grow the number of visitors to WA.
"These popular events also provide a significant boost to the economy, with last year's Mastercard Hopman Cup attracting a record-breaking crowd of more than 106,000 people and generating $4 million of visitor expenditure from out-of-State visitors.”
The mixed team Hopman Cup features eight nations split into two groups, with teams facing each other in sessions that consist of a men's and women's singles match and a mixed doubles match.
Each team plays the other three in their group, and the top teams in each group then meet in the final.
The USA are due to meet Switzerland on New Year's Day in Group B, which also features Great Britain and Greece.
Group A consists of France, Spain, Germany and hosts Australia.
The tournament runs from 29th December until 5th January at Perth’s RAC Arena, with the 2019 Australian Open taking place from 14th to 27th January.
For more information go to hopmancup.com.
Images: USA Hopman Cup team members Frances Tiafoe and Serena William (top, courtesy of Tennis Australia), Roger Federer meets a quokka on Rottnest Island (middle) and the RAC Arena Perth (below).
6th September 2018 - Former world surfing chief executive named Tourism WA Managing Director
23rd August 2018 - New appointee to lead Tourism WA and Western Australia’s jobs agenda
20th August 2018 - RAC secures Perth Arena naming rights
24th July 2018 - Further turmoil in management of Western Australian tourism
20th July 2018 - Latest tourism figures show challenges for Western Australia
3rd July 2018 - Roger Federer to return to Perth for 2019 Hopman Cup
6th April 2018 - Tennis Australia appoints new Chief Tennis Officer
21st March 2018 - New plan to drive growth in Western Australian tourism
14th March 2018 - International tourism slumps in Western Australia amid east coast boom
25th November 2017 - Perth Arena welcomes 3.2 million patrons in five years
27th June 2017 - Roger Federer secured for the 2018 Hopman Cup
11th January 2017 - Record crowds secure Hopman Cup’s future in Perth
8th April 2012 - Tennis Australia to manage Hopman Cup from 2013
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