Roger Federer will play at the Hopman Cup, will skip Brisbane International
Roger Federer of Switzerland returns a forehand shot to Milos Raonic of Canada during the men's singles final match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament January 11, 2015. Reuters/Jason Reed

The 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer will be playing at the Hopman Cup, which is scheduled for January 1 to 7, 2017, instead of the Brisbane International 2017.

According to the Hopman Cup website, Federer returns to Perth, Australia for the first time in 15 years. The world No. 3 will represent Switzerland, together with the world No. 16 Belinda Bencic, at the ITF’s official mixed team competition at the Perth Arena.

Federer last played at the Hopman Cup in 2002, teaming up with his then girlfriend Mirka Vavrinec, now known as Mirka Federer. He teamed up with Martina Hingis in 2001 and won the Hopman Cup, one of his first professional titles.

“I think it will be a perfect tournament for me to start the season,” Federer said. He’s also looking forward to visiting Perth after 15 years and playing at the new Perth Arena.

“I like to play in new places… It’s always really exciting, so I can’t wait,” he said. “I thought on TV it looked great, the atmosphere seemed really nice, the stadium looked fantastic so I’m looking forward to playing in that environment.”

With Federer deciding to play at the Hopman Cup, Brisbane International will now have to look for a new drawcard to attract audiences.

The Courier Mail reports that Federer has helped bring the three biggest attendances in the history of the tournament. The world No. 3 played in Brisbane three times, winning the title in 2015 and finishing second in 2014 and 2016.

Federer’s third visit to Brisbane was his least happy one as illness has prevented the 17-time Grand Slam champion from practicing properly or even practicing at all for three days during the tournament week. Playing at the Brisbane International also didn't result in a good showing at the last three Australian Open as Federer failed to make it to the final of the tournament. Top players usually change their schedule when it doesn’t lead to a major title.

The Hopman Cup will be played in the same week as the Brisbane International.