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Roger Federer and Eugenie Bouchard at the Hopman Cup

Hopman Cup preview: will Roger Federer dominate?

Australia's summer of tennis will be officially served up today with the Hopman Cup kicking off the action.

Some of the sport's biggest names will line up in Perth, with the Swiss maestro Roger Federer to be joined by the likes of Eugenie Bouchard, Angelique Kerber, Jack Sock and Coco Vanderweghe.

Flying the flag for Australia in the mixed tournament will be Thanasi Kokkinakis - looking to return from a long run of injury - and Daria Gavrilova.

How will they fare against some of the world's best? 

Switzerland - Hopman Cup favourites ($3.60)

Any team with Roger Federer in it deserves favouritism.

Switzerland has also been placed in the weaker of the two Hopman Cup pools which should mean a finals berth is all-but assured.

Don't underestimate his partner Belinda Bencic, who is surging up the ranks and finished 2017 with 15 consecutive wins.

USA ($3.75)

North America poses the biggest threat to Switzerland in pool B, with two rising stars of the game.

Coco Vandeweghe is now 10th in the world after reaching the finals of the Australian Open, Wimbledon and the US Open in 2017.

Her biggest scalp in 2017 was at the Aussie Open, beating world No. 1 Angelique Kerber in straight sets.

Likewise, Sock continues a long production line of US stars and has quietly risen to eighth in the world.

He has four ATP titles, but has yet to crack the finals stage of a Grand Slam tournament.

Germany ($4.33)

Moving to pool A (where Australia are placed), Germany are the clear favourites.

Kerber's pedigree needs little explaining, while her partner Alexander Zverev reached a career-high ranking of third in 2017. 

Belgium ($5.50)

The main contender against Germany in pool A (and sorry, it's not Australia) is the pairing of Belgium's David Goffin and Elise Mertens.

Mertens will have fond memories of Australia, where she claimed her first title in Hobart to crack the top 100.

But Goffin is the star, ranked 7 in the world. He is a team player as well, having led Belgium to its second Davis Cup final in three years in 2017.

Australia ($10)

Thanasi Kokkinakis at the Hopman Cup

Thanasi Kokkinakis will be hoping for a less disrupted year in 2018, starting with the Hopman Cup

There are a lot of question marks over Australia in this Hopman Cup campaign, mostly centered around how Kokkinakis will respond to a long lay-off with injury.

The 21-year-old's ranking has plummeted to 209 and he will find it tough going against Belgium and Germany.

But Gavrilova has been rising up the ranks and is currently 25th in the world, boasting plenty of talent. 

Russia ($12)

Karen Khachanov is the bloke in this pairing and comes in ranked 45th in the world with 1 career ATP title.

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova holds greater pedigree, with a ranking of 15th and three titles in 2017 (11 overall).

Together, they probably won't be able to trouble Switzerland or the US in group B of the Hopman Cup.

Canada ($21)

Bouchard is one of the darlings of the sport, who could forget her Twitter 'bet' where she lost and went on a date with a fan?

Her bikini photos are great (like, really great) and her personality is infectious - but she is currently in a form slump that has seen her ranking crash to 83.

Vasek Pospisil is not exactly a huge threat either, ranked 108.

In pool A, Australia would be hoping they could get past Canada at the very least.

Japan ($23)

The bookies don't rate Japan, but Yuichi Sugita is no mug and won his first career ATP title in 2017 to boost his ranking to as high as 36.

Naomi Osaka has been carving a nice start to her WTA career with a career ranking of 68 at just 20 years of age.

But can they threaten the US or Switzerland in pool B? Unlikely.

About the Author Josh Alston

Josh Alston is a hack with over 12 years industry experience, covering sport across all codes for newspapers and online agencies. Known to frequent grade matches because of their cheap tinnies. Eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism and a Masters in sitting on the hill when the local cricket side was playing. Softball premiership winner, rugby league legend in Year 10 and no stranger to Doomben Racecourse.

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