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Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

Swiss dream duo of Federer and Bencic merit huge respect

But dangerous to write off the Germans

Angelique Kerber could fare better this season than last
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Day one
Starts 2am Friday

Switzerland's dream duo of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic are vying for Hopman Cup favouritism along with last year's losing finalists USA, but Germany could offer better value.

Alexander Zverev, the finest young player in men's tennis, partners former world number one Angelique Kerber and with better expected from the two-time Grand Slam heroine this season, the pair could be a real force in Perth.

It's no surprise to see the Swiss duo near the head of the market and Federer and Bencic could well get it right this year after coming up short at the Perth Arena last season.

But the great man will do well be as dominant in this campaign as he was last season while the Swiss Miss still has something to prove against the top WTA performers after an injury-hit 2017.

The Australian pairing of Thanasi Kokkinakis and Daria Gavrilova is an interesting one. Dasha partnered Nick Kyrgios to Hopman Cup success two years ago and the big-serving Kokkinakis is a player with immense potential.

Belgium, with ATP World Tour Finals runner-up David Goffin teaming up with Elise Mertens, are entitled to plenty of respect too. Mertens is a dogged battler who is capable of causing problems for anyone.

The opening match pits Russia against USA and Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, who replaced Svetlana Kuznetsova, could cause problems for CoCo Vandeweghe if the American is not at peak fitness for her seasonal bow.

Germany to win Hopman Cup
1pt 9-2 bet365, Betway

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With better expected from the two-time Grand Slam heroine Kerber this season, she and Zverev could be a real force in Perth
E.W. Terms
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