World No.15 Nick Kyrgios will team up with Daria Gavrilova at next year’s Hopman Cup as the Australian pair attempt to defend their 2016 title.
And in a coup for organisers, 17-time grand slam champion and world No.7 Roger Federer has agreed to pair with Belinda Bencic, ranked 43rd, to form a daunting Swiss team.
Final teams for the event, to be held at Perth Arena from January 1 to 7, were announced on Wednesday.
In January, Kyrgios and Gavrilova defeated Ukrainian pairing Alexandr Dolgopolov and Elina Svitolina to claim Australia’s first Hopman Cup since Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic won it in 1999.
“Australia hadn’t won it for a long, long time so, to be coming back there, it’s pretty exciting to be defending the title,” Kyrgios said via a statement.
“I think there is a little bit of pressure there. You know a lot of people want to win that event, it’s a lot of fun and there has been some great champions there.
“The men’s field is very strong … and for me, Perth is a great place to have it, especially before the Australian Open.
“It’s perfect conditions and I’m really looking forward to coming back.”
In other notable inclusions, world No.11 Petra Kvitova will team with Adam Pavlasek for the Czech Republic, 17th-ranked Richard Gasquet joins Kristina Mladenovic for France and Americans Jack Sock (25) and Coco Vandeweghe (40) form the US team.
Teams from Spain, Great Britain and Germany round out the field.
“It would be unbelievable to win it again … the title, the whole thing,” Gavrilova said.
“It would be incredibly tough, (but) we did it last year and we are going to give it our best shot.”
— Nicholas Kyrgios (@NickKyrgios) October 5, 2016