The Hopman Cup is an annual international eight-team indoor hardcourttennistournament held in Perth, Western Australia in early January (sometimes commencing in late December) each year, which plays mixed-gender teams on a country-by-country basis.
The championship is named in honour of Harry Hopman (1906–1985), an Australian tennis player and coach who guided the country to 15 Davis Cup titles between 1938 and 1969. Since the Hopman Cup was founded in 1989, it has been attended each year by Harry Hopman's widow, his second wife Lucy, who travels to the tournament annually from her home in the United States.
The tournament is a sanctioned event in the calendar of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), but while individual player results are tallied, they are not included in the calculation of tennis world rankings. The competition receives extensive television coverage in Australia and is an important lead-up tournament to the Australian Open each January as part of the Australian Open Series.
The winning team receives a silver cup perpetual trophy and up to 2014 the winning team members were presented with distinctive individual trophies in the shape of a tennis ball designed and created by Brinkhaus Jewellers encrusted with diamonds from the Argyle diamond mine in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. In 2014 and 2015, the individual trophies were created in the shape of an intricate diamond encrusted tennis racket and ball, using just under an ounce of 18-carat white, yellow and rose gold and approximately half an ounce of pink argyle diamonds. These trophies are valued at $26,000.
Unlike other major international team tennis tournaments such as the Davis Cup and the Fed Cup, which are for men or women only, the Hopman Cup is a mixed competition in which male and female players are on combined teams and represent their countries. Players are invited to attend and national coaches are not involved in selecting teams.
Eight nations are selected annually to compete in the Hopman Cup. The "last" team may be decided by play-offs between several nations before competition begins. For the 2007 Hopman Cup however, this did not occur, due to the Asian Qualifying Tournament creating the eighth team. The official tournament website also has no qualifier listed in its schedule.
Each team consists of one male player and one female player. Each match-up between two teams at the championships consists of:
one women's singles match
one men's singles match
one mixed doubles match
The eight competing teams are separated into two groups of four (with two teams being seeded) and face-off against each of the other three teams in their group in a round-robin format. These seedings ensure that each group has approximately similar strength. The top team in each group then meet in a final to decide the champions.
If a player is injured then a player of a lower ranking of that nation may be the substitute.