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Tennis | SA Tennis

Chanelle Scheepers © Gallo Images

SA to participate in Hopman Cup

South Africa's top-ranked tennis players Kevin Anderson and Chanelle Scheepers will team up to take part in the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, from December 29 to January 5.

"The field is very strong this year but I believe that we can do well together," Anderson said on Wednesday.

"It's a fantastic event and it's also a good opportunity to help prepare for Sydney and the Australian Open."

They would play the opening match against Spain on December 29 in what would be South Africa's comeback in the tournament since the days of Wayne Ferreira and Amanda Coetzer.

Ferreira and Coetzer won the title in 2000, beating Thailand in the final.

They also reached the final in 1997, but after splitting the singles matches with Americans Justin Gimelstob and Chanda Rubin, went down narrowly in an enthralling mixed doubles encounter.

The Hopman Cup, which will be celebrating its 25th year, is an invitational team-based tournament that consists of eight teams, which are made up of one male and one female player.

The South Africans have been seeded sixth for the event with Serbia -- to be represented by men's world No 1 Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic -- topping the seedings.

"I will have an opportunity to play three matches against the world's best players, which is a perfect way for me to prepare for the Australian Open," Scheepers said.

"I am also lucky to have Kevin Anderson on my side, after having another fantastic season on the ATP tour."

Teams are split into two groups of four, with each team playing the other three teams in their group. The two teams that finish top in their group play off in the final.

Each tie consists of a men's and women's singles match and a mixed doubles match. All matches are the best of three sets, except for the mixed doubles.

If a mixed match is tied at one set all, a match tiebreak is played to decide the final set.

The balance of the teams will consist of John Isner and Venus Williams from the United States (seeded second), Italians Andreas Seppi and Francesca Schiavone (third), Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain (fourth), Tommy Haas and Andrea Petkovic of Germany (fifth), Jo Wilfried Tsonga and Mathilde Johansson of France (seventh) and Australians Bernard Tomic and Casey Dellacqua (eighth).

Serbia, Italy, Germany and Australia are in Group A with the US, Spain, South Africa and France in Group B.


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