It was Hot.
It was really Hot at the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Perth.
And the players were Wet.
Wet with Sweat.
To offset the sweat, there was deodorant. Deodorant galore.
Well, deodorant promotion galore anyway. Anyone who watched the One HD TV coverage must know by now that Pat Rafter uses Dove deodorant. In fact, you probably know the ad word for word (born in 1972, got first raquet at age 2…)
The Hopman Cup is named in honour of Harry Hopman, a great Australian tennis player and coach. Here are 5 things that make it ace.
1. Players play for their Country
Other than the Davis Cup for men and the Fed Cup for Women, tennis players generally play as individuals or part of a doubles duo.
At the Hopman Cup they play for the glory of their country.
A man and woman on the same team.
Playing separately in singles and then together in mixed doubles.
And it all starts with everyone getting glammed up for a Ball.
Makes for great tennis.
2. There’s No Agro
Bad line calls.
Arguing with the umpire.
That’s part of tennis, right?
Not at the Hopman Cup.
Sure I didn’t see every single match but there were no arguments between players and the umpire in the matches I did watch (which was quite a few!)
Perhaps because of the great atmosphere of the tournament. Or maybe the umpiring was just spot on.
However it happens, it makes for great tennis.
3. Low Ranked Players Get a Chance to Shine
The French team was made up of Nicholas Mahut, ranked 132 in the world, who replaced an injured Gael Monfils, and Kristina Mladenovic, ranked 301.
High ranking or not, the French team did their bit to make the tournament ace.
Not just because of their tennis skills or the rematch between Isner and Mahut, with Isner beating Mahut in 9.5 hours less than he took to win at Wimbledon 2010.
But also because of Nicholas Mahut’s keen dress sense during the Mixed Doubles. Hilarious!
4. Ranked Players Can Stand Out and Stand Tall
The tournament was won by team USA, made up of John Isner, ranked 19 and Bethanie Mattek-Sands, ranked 58.
Quoting the guy who gave them the winner trophy, the USA team is special because John has his “ridiculous height” and Bethanie has her “ridiculous outfits”.
Makes for great tennis.
5. The Delight of Diamond Encrusted Tennis Balls.
Where else in the world does $70,000 worth of diamond encrusted tennis balls make up part of the winners trophy?
Serena Williams loves these diamonds and all the girls want them.
Nole couldn’t win them for Ana because they had to withdraw from the final due to Ana’s injury.
Andy couldn’t win them for Laura.
John and Bethanie won the diamonds and they seemed pretty happy with their haul.
Other Highlights were Lleyton’s Commentary and the @hopmancup Tweeting
Lleyton’s snippets of time in the commentary box proved that he sure does know a lot about tennis after all these years. And it’s good of him to fit it in his schedule really, given that he had a tournament to play in.
And last but not least, the tweeting by the peeps between the Twitter scenes of @hopmancup was superbly interactive, really getting the fans involved.
The Hopman Cup is over for another year but I know I’ll be back in 2012, at least as a TV viewer if not live.
Congrats to the USA team and to everyone involved for putting on such a great tennis tournament.
What did you like most about the Hopman Cup 2011? Leave a comment and let us know.
Until next time
Grand Slam Gal
Next up we have the Medibank International and the AAMI Classic this week and then of course the Australian Open starting on January 17. Find out which men are playing where.
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Photos sourced from the Hopman Cup website at www.hopmancup.com.au