The championship is named in honor of Harry Hopman (1906–1985), an Australian tennis player and coach who guided the country to 15 Davis Cup titles between 1938 and 1969.
The tournament is a sanctioned event in the calendar of the International Tennis Federation (ITF), but individual player results are not included in the calculation of the tennis world rankings. The competition receives extensive television coverage in Australia and is an important lead-up tournament to the Australian Open each January as part of the Australian Open Series.
Until 2012, the Hopman Cup was played at the Burswood Dome. Since 2013, the Hopman Cup has been played at the Perth Arena.
Unlike other major international team tennis tournaments such as the David Cup and the Fed Cup, which are for men or women only, the Hopman Cup is a mixed competition in which male and female players are on combined teams and represent their countries.
Each team consists of one male player and one female player. Each match-up between two teams at the championships consists of:
- one women's singles match
- one men's singles match
- one mixed doubles match
The eight competing teams are separated into two groups of four (with two teams being seeded) and face-off against each of the other three teams in their group in a round-robin format. These seedings ensure that each group has approximately similar strength. The top team in each group then meet in a final to decide the champions.