World number one Serena Williams has confirmed that she will be starting off her 2016 season in Perth at the Hopman Cup. She will be teaming up with America’s number two male, Jack Sock, and the pair will be the top seeds at next year’s ITF-sanctioned event.
With this entry, Serena will have had no official matches between this year’s US Open and next year’s Australian Open as the Hopman Cup does not count towards the results of a player’s ranking unlike the Fed Cup and Davis Cup. This will be Serena's fourth year participating in the Hopman Cup while it will be Sock's inaugural one.
Serena’s History In The Event
The world number one has had nothing but good memories at the Hopman Cup. She is a two-time champion and was once a runner-up. In 2003, she was teamed up with James Blake. The duo nominated their group, going 3-0. Serena did not lose a single match in group play in singles or in mixed as the country’s only loss came via Blake who lost to Belgium’s Xavier Malisse. In the final against Australia, the Stars and Stripes swept the hometown favorites on their way to the title.
In 2008, Serena returned to Perth after a four-year hiatus and teamed up with Mardy Fish. Illness struck Serena in the opening tie against India and was replaced by Meghann Shaughnessy. She returned to face the Czech Republic in their second match and had to fight hard to defeat this year’s French Open runner-up to Williams herself, Lucie Safarova. She won her final group match against Australia and won her singles match in the final via walkover. The mixed rubber was the deciding one in the final, but Williams and Fish knocked off the formidable team of future world number ones Jelena Jankovic and Novak Djokovic of Serbia for a fifth Hopman Cup title.
This year, Serena teamed up with fellow big-server John Isner. The American struggled in most of her matches. She went 2-1 with both her wins coming in three-setters. Her lone loss was handed to her by Eugenie Bouchard who shocked her with a two and one scoreline. The team would make it to the finals once again, making it three consecutive finals appearances for Serena, but this time, they would end up on the losing end. The team lost to Poland 1-2 as the team lost in Serena’s rubber, to Agnieszka Radwanska, and the mixed rubber.