Column: Andy Murray to play Hopman Cup

December 30, 2010, 03:51 PM | Community Column | BillPayne
Andy Murray, as he did last year, is Australia bound early in preparation for the Australian Open. Once again Murray is foregoing ranking points in preference to acclimatisation and a guarantee of 6 matches 3 singles and 3 doubles.

The Hopman Cup which starts on the 1st January in Perth proved a good warm up for the Australian Open last year when Andy’s superb volleying which was evident in Perth re-emerged in his Quarter Final defeat of Nadal. The Hopman Cup is an eight team event split into 2 groups, a round robin format is used to decide the group winners. Each tie is made up of a Women’s singles, Men’s singles and then the two players join forces to play mixed doubles.

Murray once again partners teenager Laura Robson to try to lift the Hopman Cup for the first time for Team GB at the fifth attempt. After last years Hopman Cup, Andy and Laura both made there respective finals in Melbourne. And Laura, as a late reserve into the Australian wild card women’s doubles team, joined teenager Sally Peers and reached the quarter finals.

Team GB are seeded 2 and are drawn in group B along with the number 4 seeds Italy (Starace & Schiavone), France (Mahut & Mladenovic) and US (Isner & Mattek-Sands). Team GB were originally seeded 3 with the US 2 but the withdrawal of twice Hopman Cup winner Serena Williams saw the US move to an un-seeded position. And the promotion of Italy to the 4th Seeds and the withdrawal of Gael Monfils from the French team makes the group look easier than originally drawn.

There are some big guns in group A with Djorkovic playing for Serbia and Henin representing Belgium, they are joined by host nation Australia and Kazakhstan. With John Isner playing for the US and Nicolas Mahut playing for France, the two marathon men from Wimbledon once again cross swords.

Murray will need to account for Starace (WR47), Mahut (WR132) and Isner (WR19) in his singles encounters. Murray holds a 4-0 advantage over his 3 opponents and has lost only one set from the eleven played that was against Starace at Roland Garros in 2009.

Unlike last year, where Laura’s 3 group opponents were all ranked upwards of 54 this year, she will be applying her trade against Schiavone (WR7), Mladenovic (WR300) and Mattek-Sands (WR58). Schiavone is the current French open champion, Mladenovic won the French open junior title in 2009 and was a beaten finalist in the singles and doubles finals at junior Wimbledon, the same year and like Laura got to the number one position in the junior rankings. Mattek-Sands is WR17 in the doubles.

Laura has never met any of her opponents in singles although did face Mattek-Sands and Liezel-Huber who were the number one seeds at Birmingham in June, Laura played alongside Heather Watson with the Brits going down 4-6 4-6.

If Andy like last year can hit the ground running when he was superb in the Round Robin stages when conceding just ten games in his 3 group matches and in the doubles he brought a pocket full of E’s to the court Energy, Effort, Efficiency and Enthusiasm there’s no reason why team GB can’t equal or better last years performance.

Team GB’s matches are against Italy at 1.30am on the 3rd, France at 9am on the 5th and US at approx 6.30am on the 7th and should they make it the final is at 7am on the 8th. (GMT)

The Hopman Cup website will give live scores, reports, schedules and history information at www.hopmancup.com

For those who cannot get live pictures last year Perth Radio gave excellent live commentary of all matches www.perthnow.com.au
Community Column | BillPayne
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add comment | 11 comments
Nice one, Bill. Smile
December 30, 2010, 03:57 PM
By Mark

Bill, I'm confused.

You state that the Hopman Cup starts on 17/01/2011. You then go on to say that Team GB's matches are on 03/01, 05/01, 07/01, with the final on 08/01.

Which is correct?

December 30, 2010, 07:18 PM
By OldScotSupport

Andy Murray, as he did last year, is Australia bound early in preparation for the Australian Open, which starts on the 17th January.

He was referring to the Australian Open. I misread it the first time as well, I've changed it now to avoid this.
December 30, 2010, 07:27 PM
By Mark

Don't go to Brisbane - Fish is there!! Good move going to Perth instead.
December 30, 2010, 10:45 PM
By Faninoz

Last year I seemed to recall watching Andy & Laura live on TV, but I can not remember if it was on Sky or live streaming via Bet365 ? Does anyone have any idea please ? confused
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the BBC could cover all Sports overseas & we wouldn't have to pay for Sky Sports ?
Maybe I should start a petition ?
December 31, 2010, 12:56 AM
By Rosie

I watched a couple of the matches last year live the other 2 I listened to on Perth Now Radio because I couldn't find a stream
I don't have sky so it must have been a stream, Bet 365 don't look like they are covering it
Hopefully when it starts tomorrow the streams will be easier to find
 
 
December 31, 2010, 10:15 AM
By BillPayne

Last year I seemed to recall watching Andy & Laura live on TV, but I can not remember if it was on Sky or live streaming via Bet365 ? Does anyone have any idea please ? confused
Wouldn't it be wonderful if the BBC could cover all Sports overseas & we wouldn't have to pay for Sky Sports ?
Maybe I should start a petition ?
Sky is showing highlights each evening 7-10pm from Monday.  I assume they'll show the full final as well on Saturday.
 I fear that as Murdoch is likely to increase not decrease his power, a petition to get all overseas sports on BBC, and thereby deprive Sky of a huge amount of our money, would be a massive waste of your time! Rolling Eyes
December 31, 2010, 10:35 AM
By Ruthie

I watched a couple of the matches last year live the other 2 I listened to on Perth Now Radio because I couldn't find a stream
I don't have sky so it must have been a stream, Bet 365 don't look like they are covering it
Hopefully when it starts tomorrow the streams will be easier to find
Agreed Smile Don't have Sky either...
December 31, 2010, 12:02 PM
By spocler

Hi guys, do try atdhe.fm          That's a great livestream for tennis and it's free! You don't even have to register! Just click on the match you want to watch and then choose a stream. I usually try 'Webcast' first but, the others are ok too. If you go on first thing in the morning, it'll tell you who's playing and the time of the various matches. Sometimes the reception in great but, it can be dodgy as well, but, they always show Andy's games, so fingers crossed!
January 02, 2011, 06:59 PM
By Caz

Hi guys, do try atdhe.fm          That's a great livestream for tennis and it's free! You don't even have to register! Just click on the match you want to watch and then choose a stream. I usually try 'Webcast' first but, the others are ok too. If you go on first thing in the morning, it'll tell you who's playing and the time of the various matches. Sometimes the reception in great but, it can be dodgy as well, but, they always show Andy's games, so fingers crossed!
Thanks Carole.   Don't really like watching on my pc I have to say but useful to know as a last resort.
January 03, 2011, 04:24 PM
By Ruthie

add comment | 11 comments