Hopman Cup: Pairings announced for mixed-team tournament
Last Updated: 08/10/13 11:02am
Sloane Stephens: Part of US Hopman Cup team
Sloane Stephens will partner former champion John Isner on the USA team for next year's Hopman Cup in Perth, Western Australia.
Stephens has enjoyed an excellent 2013, defeating Serena Williams in the Australian Open quarter-finals, and has advanced 26 places in the world rankings to No 12.
Isner won the 2011 edition of the annual international mixed team tennis tournament playing alongside Bethanie Mattek-Sands and partnered Venus Williams last year.
Petra Kvitova, the 2011 Wimbledon champion who won the 2012 Hopman Cup in the company of Tomas Berdych, will be joined on the Czech team by veteran Radesk Stepanek.
The competition sees eight teams split into two groups for matches including men's and women's singles and mixed doubles, with the winners of each round-robin group progressing to a final.
Anabel Medina Garrigues helped Spain claim last year's crown and she is returning to try and defend the title, when she'll be partnered by two-time Hopman Cup champion Tommy Robredo.
Former US Open champion Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic will represent Australia, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet make up the France team.
Poland will feature in the tournament for the first time with a team containing No 4-ranked Agnieszka Radwanska and Wimbledon semi-finalist Jerzy Janowicz.
US Open semi-finalist Andreas Seppi partners Flavia Pennetta in the Italian team, while Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard make up the Canada team.
"I think Hopman Cup is a great way to start the year. You have a lot of guaranteed matches, a lot of opportunities to find your way especially after the off season," said Raonic.
"It gives you a chance to really get match sharp. It's a great competitive atmosphere, a team atmosphere, something different and something I haven't been involved in."
The tournament takes place from 28 December 2013-4 January 2014.