More than once the darling of Australian tennis, Jelena Dokic took one look at Perth Arena yesterday and wished she was again.
And despite having turned 30 this year and having spent more than a year out of the game because of a debilitating wrist injury, she is still dreaming about one last run into the elite ranks of the game.
Dokic, who lives in Melbourne, said she was stunned by the quality of the Perth Arena, claiming it could prove a major tool for the sport's growth. She said it gave her an incentive to try to again be Australia's female representative at next year's event.
She and Mark Philippoussis remain the only Australian winners of the Hopman Cup, a feat they achieved in 1999 when she was just 15.
"It's unbelievable, I call it the mini-Rod Laver," Dokic said, referring to Melbourne's home of the Australian Open.
"It's probably one of the best stadiums in the world. The atmosphere is really great here and the seating. I would love to next year come back and play here.
"I don't think some of us realise how lucky we are that we have what we have and if every State had an arena like this, it would be great.
"I think it will bring more and more kids to playing tennis."
Dokic is in Perth as a Hopman Cup reserve for Australia's Sam Stosur and is commentating on the event for Channel 7, in what could be a precursor for her career after tennis.
But with her love of playing still dominant, she was giving that possibility only a vague glance.
"I'm not done yet," she declared. "The time will come for that for sure, but it's not now. It's been tough with such a long time out and it takes a while to get back to even practising well and practising a lot. I'm just kind of easing back into it, but the hunger is definitely still there."
Off the tennis court, American world No. 14 John Isner, who grew up playing basketball, got in some cross-training playing one-on-one with Wildcats US import James Ennis yesterday.