04 Jan 2013

Serbia set sights on Hopman Cup crown

News Article

Photo: Theron Kirkman / Professional SportAna Ivanovic (SRB)

PERTH, AUSTRALIA: The Serbian duo of Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic will go into tomorrow's Hyundai Hopman Cup final as hot favourites after making light work of their German opponents in the last round-robin match in Pool A.

Djokovic set the tone for a wonderful afternoon of tennis at the Perth Arena with a 62 60 demolition of former world No. 2 Tommy Haas before Ivanovic made a mockery of her match-up against German stand-in Tatjana Malek with a 60 61 victory that took just over an hour to complete.

The Serbian lost a measly 15 points in the match and has shown signs of being back to her world-beating best in Perth en route to comprehensive victories over Francesca Schiavone, Ashleigh Barty and Malek.

With the tie already over, Haas decided to withdraw from the mixed doubles due to a toe injury, which opened the door for 16-year-old Australian junior Thanasi Kokkinakis to take centre stage for the second day running.

Serbia's victory in Pool A means they will play Spain, who won Pool B, in Saturday's final. Play is due to start at 5:45pm local time (9:45am GMT).

Consolation point goes the way of South Africa

France and South Africa competed the first tie of the day and with nothing to play for but pride on either side of the net it went down to the wire before Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was forced to retire with a left hamstring injury.

Chanelle Scheepers had won her first singles match of the week with a hard-fought 46 64 64 victory over Mathilde Johansson in the opening rubber before Tsonga levelled proceedings with a 76(4) 76(3) win against Kevin Anderson.

But the leg injury, which has forced the Frenchman to withdraw from Sydney next week, meant the French team had to retire having lost the first set of the mixed doubles.