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.
Andy Murray’s point in the direction of his box after punching his ticket to a fourth Australian Open final on Thursday seemed to say it all. The Scot’s camp could breathe a sigh of relief after watching Murray defeat World No. 7 Tomas Berdych 6-7(6), 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 in a thrilling semi-final match that featured equal parts drama and intensity.
Novak Djokovic has countless fans worldwide, but perhaps none bigger than three-month-old son Stefan. The World No. 1’s wife, Jelena, tweeted a photo of Stefan watching his dad on television during his quarter-final match against Milos Raonic at the Australian Open.
The singles semifinals, of course, stole all the headlines (well, except this one!) on Thursday at the Australian Open. That was always going to be the case with a lineup featuring Serena Williams vs. Madison Keys, Andy Murray vs. Tomas Berdych, and Maria Sharapova also in action.
July 27, 1998. They were throwing another "Shrimp on the Barbie" and wishing everyone G'Day. Just another day in Australia. Probably also listening to the strains of "Waltzing Matilda" a popular folk song that was considered to be their "unofficial National Anthem".