Hopman Cup preview

Hopman Cup preview

Ana gets her 2013 season underway at the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Perth, where she will compete alongside Novak Djokovic. The event begins on Saturday; Serbia plays its first match on Monday 31 December against Italy.

“The off-season has flown by,” said Ana. “It doesn’t feel like there’s been much of a break, but I’m excited to get back onto court. I feel that Novak and I have some unfinished business here in Perth.”

The 25-year-old was no doubt referring to her injury-enforced withdrawal from the tournament two years ago, on the eve of the final. Top seeded Serbia, spearheaded by world No.1 Djokovic, are favourites to finally land the title next week.

Play begins at 10am on New Year’s Eve, early enough to allow Ana and Djokovic to attend the traditional Hopman Cup New Year's Ball.

“It’s an amazing event,” said Ana. “I really hope we can enjoy it – to do that, we need to start with a win against Italy.”

The Italians team consists of world No.35 Francesca Schiavone, against whom Ana enjoys a 4-0 head-to-head record, and Andreas Seppi. The format sees the two singles players compete against each other, followed by a potentially tie-deciding mixed doubles rubber.

On Wednesday 2 January Serbia takes on Germany, who are represented by Andrea Petkovic (2-2) and Tommy Haas, in the night session.

Serbia’s final group tie is against home nation Australia during Friday's night session. The Aussie team consists of Casey Dellaqua (1-0) and Bernard Tomic.

“This is a great tournament to prepare for the Australian Open,” said Ana. “I am guaranteed six matches, including doubles, and Novak and I are very motivated to take the trophy.”

The winner from Group A, in which Serbia resides, takes on the winner of Group B (USA, Spain, South Africa, France) in the final on Saturday 5 January.