Seles signs up for Hopman Cup

Former American world number one Monica Seles will return to Perth later in the year for the Hopman Cup tennis tournament despite having sparked a security scare in the previous Cup contest here.

Tournament director Paul McNamee said Monday Seles would partner Jan-Michael Gambill in the mixed teams event starting December 29 at Burswood Dome.

The two were runners-up to Switzerland’s Martina Hingis and Roger Federer in the last tournament.

During last summer’s competition, Seles was alarmed by an over-zealous autograph-hunter.

The 28-year-old was sitting courtside after a deciding mixed doubles win against Russia when a middle-aged man who had eluded the security net tapped her on the shoulder.

Seles, who was stabbed by a German spectator in 1993, spun around when the man thrust a program at her.

She motioned to her partner, Gambill, and the unharmed pair made a hasty exit.

Security staff ushered the man away and no action was taken.

Seles missed almost two years of tennis after the 1993 stabbing in Germany.

Now ranked number eight, Seles captured her 50th title Sunday when she beat Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn in straight sets to win the women’s singles at the Japan Open.

Gambill is ranked number 19.

The Americans will be aiming to win the Hopman Cup for the second time. Justin Gimelstob and Chanda Rubin succeeded four years ago.

McNamee said: “With the experience of last year, Monica and Jan-Michael will mount a formidable challenge.”