PERTH, AUSTRALIA – Greece is making its mark in The Hopman Cup 2019 tennis tournament which kicked off with Greece against Britain on December 29 and a win against the USA team on December 31. The Greek team featuring Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari was definitely focused since Greece has not appeared at the Hopman Cup since 2002.
In their match at Tianjin last season, Britain’s Katie Boulter beat Sakkari. Tsitsipas is, of course, a rising star on the tennis scene, and the NextGen Finals champ. He had a good chance against his British opponent, 23-year-old lefty, Cameron Norrie, who is 2-6 in his last four tournaments, but fell in the tough match, 7-6(8) 6-4.
The mixed doubles match proved decisive with the Brits beating the Greeks in another tight match 4-3 3-4(2) 4-3(4).
Sakkari had noted to her YouTube viewers that Tsitsipas is her ideal mixed doubles partner, Last Word On Tennis reported, and while they played hard to the very end, they likely need more practice together to perfect their doubles game.
On December 31, the Greek team closed out 2018 by beating the USA with Tsitsipas over Frances Tiafoe 6-3 6-7(3) 6-3. Sakkari took Serena Williams to a tie break in the first set of their match the same day, but fell 7-6(3) 6-2. In the doubles match up the result was a win for the Greeks in three sets, Sakkari / Tsitsipas defeating Williams / Tiafoe 1-4 4-1 4-2.
The Greek team faces a tough Switzerland team of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic on Thursday. The winner of Group A faces the winner of Group B in the finals on Saturday, Jan. 5.
The Hopman Cup is an annual international eight-team indoor hardcourt tennis tournament is held in Perth, Western Australia in early January (sometimes beginning in late December) each year, with mixed-gender teams playing on a country-by-country basis. This year’s Hopman Cup runs from December 29, 2018 until January 5, 2019.
Named in honor of Harry Hopman (1906–1985), an Australian tennis player and coach who led the country to 15 Davis Cup titles between 1938 and 1969, the championship was founded in 1989. Hopman’s widow, his second wife Lucy, travels to the tournament each year from her home in the United States, according to the Hopman Cup website.