Hopman Cup: Take 1

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Ever since it was announced back during the summer that Ana and Novak would be participating in the Hopman Cup this year, I’ve been counting down the days. Maybe not literally, but I’ve been looking more forward to this event than any other, even more so than the Australian Open, as crazy as that sounds. While Hopman Cup is only an exhibition, the team concept is what makes it stand apart from all the rest. Any time Ana and Nole are playing together, it is must see TV.

The Serbia duo come into the event this year has the favorites to win the title. They nearly won it all two years ago, having made it all the way to the finals, only to have to withdraw due to an abdominal injury Ana had suffered right before the finals. This year, they are determined to finish the job that they started in 2011.

Serbia won their first tie yesterday via single victories from Ana and Novak over Italians Francesca Schiavone and Andreas Seppi respectively. Ana got things started with a bagel over Schiavone in the opening set. She took care of business by proceeding to winning her match in straights 6-0, 6-4. Ivanovic was only broken once throughout the entire match, and that came when she was serving for it at 5-3 in the 2nd set. She would immediately break back to seal the victory. All in all, it was a solid performance to start the year, though Schiavone didn’t play all that well herself. I wouldn’t read too much into this one result. I did thought Ana’s fitness looked slightly improved from two months ago, however. She still has a way to go, but there is some more muscle in her arms it looks.

The real fun began in mixed doubles. The two childhood friends had their share of giggles throughout the match and provided some entertaining moments. They didn’t play their best tennis, going down to the Italian pair in straight sets, but it was all still fun nonetheless. It was worth it for these pics alone If you happened to miss any of it, here is the match below:

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While the Serbian duo lost in mixed doubles, they did win the overall tie. They play next on Wednesday night against the Australian team of Bernard Tomic and Ashleigh Barty.

After play was completed yesterday, Ana and Novak got dressed up and headed over to the Hopman Cup Ball. Ana came dressed in a red dress, looking as beautiful as she always does. I thought she looked stunning in this pic with Darren Cahill. These are the only pics that are available right now, though I’m sure there are more to come.

A successful day was capped off by a fun night for the pair that have been friends since they were four years old. We all know about their relationship since childhood, but if you haven’t read this piece yet in The Australian, I highly recommend that you do so. Here is a sampling:

THEIR athleticism aside, travellers who caught a glimpse of two Europeans travelling on a flight from Perth to Melbourne in early 2011 might have assumed they were fun-loving backpackers.

Separated by two rows in economy class, the brunette waited until her friend had fallen asleep before sneaking up to him and clapping loudly. Hysterics followed at the statuesque Serb’s over-the-top reaction.

Later, the young woman snoozed for a while using her friend’s shoulder as a support. It was an intimacy of close friends rather than that of a couple.

Lets hope these kids who once “threw sand in each others’ faces”, go all the way and take home the diamonds this time around.

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