Lucy Hopman, 'Queen of the Cup' dies at the age of 98


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Lucy Hopman, 'Queen of the Cup' dies at the age of 98

Lucy Hopman, the widow of the legendary Australian Davis Cup player and a captain Harry Hopman has died at the age of 98. They had moved to the USA in the early 70's and Harry worked at the Port Washington Tennis Academy where he had a chance to work with John McEnroe and Vitas Gerulaitis.

They had moved to Florida in 1975 where Lucy was helping her husband to manage the Harry Hopman International Tennis program and once Harry died in 1985 the tennis camp had been moved to Saddlebrook Resort in Wesley Chapel near Tampa where Lucy did everything to keep the legacy of her husband alive (Martina Hingis, Jennifer Capriati and Mardy Fish were all training there).

Harry was honored at home in Australia as well, with the official ITF mixed team tournament kicking off in January 1989 with twelve teams. Lucy Hopman, the 'Queen of the Cup' had traveled from her Florida home to Perth for 26 straight years (she was there to give the trophy to the French team in 2014) and she was forced to miss the event for the first time in 2015 at the age of 94!

“I was eager to return to Perth for HC 27, but more cautious heads prevailed,” she said back then. “When you’re 94, your mind sometimes wants one thing and your body prefers another.

I’ll be thrilled to see the fans in the arena, to savor the great shot-making, and to watch my favorites– the ball kids. I love knowing that the parents of some of the ball kids were ball kids themselves at some of the early Hopman Cups.

I hope the people of WA will remember Harry Hopman’s love of tennis and his love of teaching tennis to others, no matter what their age or ability level. People who wished to improve their game earned his immediate attention.

It was just part of his character. Any time I watch tennis competition in person, I recall the joy that Harry felt in it. He never liked watching it as much as I did. Sitting in the stands just made him want to be on the court—and he was on the court right up to the day he died.

After dinner, the dancing had been going on for a while when I noticed Novak Djokovic approaching my table with a smile. The words that came out of his mouth—“Would you like to dance with me?”— are engraved in my brain.

He pushed me out onto the dance floor and for a moment we showed our best moves, to general acclaim. Of course I had admired Novak’s tennis game long before I ever danced with him, but at that New Year’s Eve Ball I learned firsthand what a thoughtful and generous person he is.”

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