Save the Hopman Cup tennis competition in Perth
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TENNIS SHOULD FOLLOW, NOT ABANDON, HOPMAN CUP'S DUAL-GENDER PATH - tennis.com
Continue the Hopman Cup because it attracts top class international players, it is one of the few tennis tournaments in the world which brings together both female and male tennis stars, and it is a unique and entertaining event; and a sports icon of Perth.
Abandoning the Hopman Cup would rob tennis of a model for how the sport can be packaged and presented in an equality-minded, dual-gender format that has the added benefit of being TV-friendly. - tennis.com
The Hopman Cup international mixed gender team tennis event has taken place in Perth every January (sometimes starting in late December) since 1989 and has attracted more than 20 world number ones.
Hopman Cup founder Paul McNamee played a key role in the founding of the Hopman Cup tournament in 1988. He served as Tournament Director of the Hopman Cup and the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Open series until 2006.
McNamee, handed control of the Hopman Cup to the International Tennis Federation in 2002 with the understanding that he would remain tournament director, handing over the ownership rights in order to receive the international body’s backing, which he believed was important to the tournament’s survival. Paul McNamee resigned as tournament director of the Hopman Cup in 2006.
The ITF decided in March 2012 at a board meeting that it would take on the management of the tournament itself, before suggesting a handover to Tennis Australia post-2014.
Tennis Australia had unceremoniously removed the Hopman Cup from the Australian Open series, being the tournaments leading to the Australian Open and the AO itself, being the first Grand Slam of the year, between 2006 and 2012.
In 2011 Paul Kilderry was appointed tournament director of the Hopman Cup.
Following a year long battle between the Western Australian Government (via Tourism WA) and Tennis Australia over the management rights for the Hopman Cup, the ITF decided to take over management itself, in 2012.
Initially the ITF stated that they would take on management until the end of the current contract with Tourism WA in 2014, at which point Tennis Australia's involvement would increase.
Later the ITF announced it had "signed an agreement with Tennis Australia under which Tennis Australia will be contracted to provide certain services to Hopman Cup for the 2013 and 2014 events". Tennis Australia has been contracted to; provide a tournament director; procure players, and; provide an operations director.
The trade-off is that the Hopman Cup will be "returned to the Australian Open Series ahead of the 2013 event" said the International Tennis Federation, therefore once again receiving international recognition as an Australian Open Series tournament.
While the Hopman Cup does not give ranking points to the players, it is a hugely loved and very unique, wonderful tournament, and well received and hosted by Perth, a city in Australia which hardly has any major events held at it, but deserves to.
In July 2018, the "Sunday Times" newspaper reported that the State Government — through major partner Tourism WA — is preparing to divert funding to the new ATP World Team Cup men's event which will come to Australia in January 2020..
The World Team Cup, to be run by the ATP and Tennis Australia, will feature $20 million in prize money to make it the richest tournament in the world outside of the grand slams. Unlike the Hopman Cup, it will also offer players the chance to play for ranking points. Too bad for women players who had a chance to play in the Hopman Cup and use it for a warm up for the Australian Open.
Hosting the World Team Cup will divert money from running the Hopman Cup.
The new tournament will take place in three cities across Australia over 10 days in the lead-up to the 2020 Australian Open, raising questions over the future of the existing warm-up events not only in Perth, but in Brisbane and Sydney.
Tennis Australia believes the World Team Cup will revolutionise the Aussie tennis summer. However the Australian team, which has generally been a major attraction at the Hopman Cup, may only play in Perth every three years as part of the new teams tournament.
Perth also appears likely to miss out on hosting the final of the new event, with the pointy end of the tournament expected to be held in Sydney. Brisbane is also set to host part of the new event. A recent article in Tennis.com states that the Federer v Williams match at the 2019 Hopman Cup made headlines around the world, and that:
“Losing the only event that brings the top stars of both the ATP and WTA together on a single court would be a serious own goal.”
[ ATP is the Association of Tennis Professionals for men, and the WTA is the Women's Tennis Association ]
Please, Mr McGovern and Mr Papalia, listen to the people whom you claim to listen to. Tennis is NOT about how much fame and prestige that you or "Australia" receives, or about focusing on the male players gaining ranking points. It is a sport for all to enjoy. The Hopman Cup is a superb tennis competition proudly run in Perth and always well attended, and is regarded as unique and essential around the world.
WE, THE UNDERSIGNED, REQUEST THAT THE HOPMAN CUP BE CONTINUED IN 2020 AND BEYOND. WE WANT THE HOPMAN CUP NOT THE ATP WORLD TEAM CUP.
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