The Hopman Cup will welcome a blast from the past when world No.3 Roger Federer makes his long-awaited return to the mixed-teams event in Perth this summer.
Federer was just 19 years old when he teamed with Martina Hingis to win the Hopman Cup in 2001.
The Swiss ace returned a year later with then-girlfriend and now wife Miroslava Vavrinec, and he’ll end his 15-year hiatus when he partners world No.16 Belinda Bencic.
Federer, a winner of 17 grand slam singles titles, hopes the January 1-7 Hopman Cup will be a perfect launching pad in his bid to land a fifth Australian Open crown.
“I do remember it was a good preparation way back when, so I thought it would be nice to do it again,” Federer said.
“Plus I was watching the telly this year from Brisbane, and watching the great atmosphere that was happening at the Hopman Cup when Nick (Kyrgios) was playing, and (Andy) Murray was playing.
“I thought, ‘That would be cool to be part of that’. I’m very happy it’s happening now.”
Federer remains one of the biggest drawcards in world tennis despite having failed to win a grand slam singles title since 2012.
The 34-year-old was knocked out at the semi-finals of both Wimbledon and the Australian Open this year, and he was twice beaten in grand slam finals by Novak Djokovic in 2015.
World No.16 Bencic made the US Open quarter-finals at the age of 17 in 2014, and she’s also reached the round of 16 at Wimbledon and the Australian Open.