epa03454307 Kevin Anderson of South Africa returns the ball to Tomas Berdych of the Czech Republic during their match at the BNP Paribas 2012 Masters Tennis tournament in Paris, France, 01 November 2012. EPA/IAN LANGSDON |
Kevin Anderson and Chanelle Scheepers will represent South Africa in the Hopman Cup starting late next month, marking the first time in a dozen years that the nation has participated in the mixed team’s event in Perth, Western Australia.
But Anderson will head into the pre-Australian Open event without a coach after parting with longtime mentor Louis Vosloo by mutual consent. The No. 37 who reached a career high of 28th in 2012 is based in the US and has had poor contacts with his national federation after refusing to play Davis Cup for the tennis minnows in a dispute over money issues.
South Africa last competed in Perth in 2001 through Wayne Ferreira and Amanda Coetzer. That pair won the title the year before.
The Hopman has become a proving ground for top names, who are guaranteed three singles matches and as many doubles due to the format of the team event. Leading the field at the upcoming edition from December 30 are world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and German Tommy Haas.
South Africa is paired in Group B along with the US, Spain and France.
Maria Sharapova performed as expected, with the top seed making a winning start on her debut in Mexico. The No. 2 opened play with a 6-4, 6-1 defeat of American Shelby Rogers after losing serve in the opening game but storming back against the youngster after an hour and a quarter.
The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has today confirmed the team to contest the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas World Group tie against the USA that will take place from 6-8 March 2015 at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
Roger Federer began the campaign for a seventh title in the emirate as he beat Mikhail Youzhny for the 16th time without a loss, 6-3, 6-1. The second seed spent 56 minutes on court, making sure he did not get too careful in his tennis - a mistake he made in his shock third-round Australian Open loss to Andreas Seppi a month ago.