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Hopman Cup Day 1 live streaming, preview and tips: Greece vs Great Britain and Australia vs France

Andrew Hendrie in News 28 Dec 2018
  • Day 1 of the Hopman Cup is live from Perth at 10.00am local time on Saturday December 29 (2.00am GMT)
  • Greece takes on Great Britain in the first rubber of the day
  • Australia vs France follows in the night session
Stefanos Tsitsipas (Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

Day 1 of the Hopman Cup takes place on Saturday December 29 in Perth as Great Britain face Greece and hosts Australia square off against 2017 champions France.

(geo restrictions apply; funded account required or to have placed a bet in the last 24 hours to qualify)

Great Britain vs Greece, live from Perth Arena at 10.00am local time (2.00am GMT)

Katie Boulter (GBR) vs Maria Sakkari (GRE)

Both Great Britain and Greece have never won the Hopman Cup before, with Great Britain’s best result being a runner-up showing in 2010, while Greece will be making their debut at the competition this year.

Maria Sakkari (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
There’s some British influence on the Greek team this year at the Hopman Cup, with former pro and commentator Mark Petchey set to coach Maria Sakkari for the 2019 season. The 23-year-old Sakkari has been rising through the ranks steadily for the last few years now, but she seems to have stagnated at around 30-40 in the rankings recently, so the appointment of Petchey will have been made with the view of taking her game to the next level - i.e., the top 20 in 2019. Sakkari’s best result in 2018 was a runner-up finish in San Jose, beating Venus Williams along the way, while she also made the fourth round of Indian Wells and the third round of Roland Garros.

At 22 years of age, Katie Boulter is one year younger than Sakkari, but she’s beginning to catch up with the Greek, cracking the top 100 for the first time towards the end of 2018 on the back of reaching the Tianjin Open quarter-finals - where she actually beat Sakkari before losing a tight three-setter to top seed Karolina Pliskova. Looking to leave the ITF circuit behind in 2019 as she aims to establish herself on the WTA Tour proper, a guarantee of three matches at the Hopman Cup against quality players is the perfect platform for Boulter to build her year from - and she will be confident of claiming a first up win for her country having conquered Sakkari just a couple of months ago.

Cameron Norrie (GBR) vs Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE)

A big reason for Greece’s first appearance at the Hopman Cup was the rise of Stefanos Tsitsipas throughout 2018. The 20-year-old put together an extraordinary season, registering a 46-22 record after only previously winning a handful of tour-level matches, becoming the first man from Greece to win an ATP title when he did so in Stockholm, while he also made headlines in Canada as he defeated four top 10 players on the bounce - including Novak Djokovic and Alexander Zverev - to reach the final, before finally succumbing to Rafael Nadal. Tsitsipas also ended the year on a high, claiming the Next Gen ATP Finals title in Milan with a win over Alex de Minaur in the final.

Determined to keep improving in 2019 and crack the top 10 after ending 2018 at No. 15, Tsitsipas meets Cameron Norrie in his first (unofficial) match of the season. Norrie, who was born in South Africa and hone his skills playing college tennis in the United States, also compiled a career-best season in 2018, posting a 19-18 record that included semi-finals in Lyon, Atlanta and and Los Cabos, along with a famous Davis Cup triumph over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut in Marbella.

The pair have never played before, but with Tsitsipas on the rise and focused on even more gains in 2019, you’d expect him to make a winning start on Saturday.

Australia vs France, live from Perth Arena at 5.30pm local time (9.30am GMT)

Ashleigh Barty (AUS) vs Alize Cornet (FRA)

Both Australia and France will be targeting a third Hopman Cup title this week. The home nation last triumphed in 2016 with Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova leading the charge, while Alize Cornet was present the last time France prevailed in 2014, alongside Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Ashleigh Barty (Photo by STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Ash Barty did a fantastic job of consolidating her place inside the top 20 in 2018, finishing the season as the highest-ranked Australian and winning the John Newcombe Medal. The 22-year-old claimed two WTA titles last season, firstly on the grass of Eastbourne and then closing the year in superb fashion, securing her biggest career title at the WTA Elite Trophy in Zhuhai, registering wins over Caroline Garcia, Julia Goerges and Wang Qiang. The win propelled Barty to a career-high year-end ranking of No. 15, with the Australian determined for more success in her home country after finishing runner-up at the Apia International in Sydney at the start of 2018.

Meanwhile, it’s now been almost 10 years since Cornet reached her career-high ranking as a teenager in 2009 at No. 11, but while she’s struggled to make it back near that bracket of the rankings, the Frenchwoman has remained a fearsome competitor on the WTA Tour over the last decade. Although she finished 2018 at No. 45 in the world, Cornet often saves her best tennis for the big players and moments, while she won a first title in two years when she prevailed in Gstaad. A former Hopman Cup champion, Cornet knows what it takes to succeed in this environment - however, she will have to overturn a straight sets loss to Barty in Canada earlier this year to put France in front.

Matthew Ebden (AUS) vs Lucas Pouille (FRA)

Like his teammate, Matthew Ebden also compiled a career-best season in 2018, hitting a career-high ranking of No. 39 following semi-final showings in s-Hertogenbosch and Atlanta, a quarter-final at the Shanghai Rolex Masters (beating World No. 7 Dominic Thiem) and a third round finish at Wimbledon. Ebden played his best tennis on grass, pushing Roger Federer in a quality quarter-final at the ATP 500 meet in Halle, while he also qualified and made the semi-finals of the Challenger event in Surbition before falling to compatriot Alex de Minaur. Equipped with an unorthodox game and not afraid to charge the net, Ebden has the traits of many Australian greats from days gone by - can keep improving in 2019?

While Ebden soared in 2018, the same can’t be said for Lucas Pouille, who slipped from a place in the top 10 in March to outside of the top 30 by the end of the season. The Frenchman climbed to his career-high ranking of No. 10 on the back of winning his fifth career title in Marseille and reaching the final in Dubai, but he only made one more quarter-final for the rest of the season, losing four of his last five matches of the year and battling to be seeded at the upcoming Australian Open.

Considering the home support and Pouille’s questionable form to finish 2018, Ebden will fancy his chances of claiming a win over his higher-ranked opponent.

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Hopman Cup Day 1 live streaming, preview and tips: Greece vs Great Britain and Australia vs France

Day 1 of the Hopman Cup takes place on Saturday December 29 in Perth as Great Britain face Greece and hosts Australia square off against 2017 champions France.

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