PERTH, Australia — Roger Federer will compete at the Hopman Cup in January as part of his buildup to the Australian Open.
The 17-time Grand Slam champion will join Belinda Bencic for Switzerland at the eight-team tournament which runs from Jan. 1-7.
Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova will return to defend the title they won this year when they became the first Australians since Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic in 1999 to win the Hopman Cup.
Kyrgios says “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.”
Also in the field will be Jack Sock and Coco Vandeweghe from the United States, and Petra Kvitova and Adam Pavlasek from the Czech Republic.
MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) Two-time former champion Victoria Azarenka has been awarded a wild card for the Australian Open.
Azarenka, who won the Australian Open in 2012 and 2013, has been involved in a custody dispute involving her son Leo, who was born last Dec. 19.
She hasn’t competed anywhere since Wimbledon, where she lost to Simona Halep in the fourth round on July 10. The dispute with her former partner started shortly after Wimbledon ended.
Azarenka has played only six matches this year and is ranked 208th.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said on Wednesday that every assistance would be provided to the former No. 1, adding “Vika’s current situation is obviously very difficult for her and we have reached out to offer any support we can.”
The Australian Open starts on Jan. 15.
LONDON — Rafael Nadal and Garbine Muguruza have won the International Tennis Federation’s player of the year awards.
At 31, Nadal becomes the oldest ITF men’s world champion after a season in which he won a 10th French Open and a third U.S. Open.
The Spaniard also became the oldest player to finish the year at No. 1 since the ATP rankings began in 1973.
Muguruza dropped only one set en route to her first Wimbledon title and finished the year at No. 2 behind Simona Halep.
“Becoming ITF world champion in such a competitive year is amazing for me,” said Muguruza, who is also Spanish. “(Nadal) is a great role model for all of us, so it is a great moment for tennis in Spain.”