03 Jan 2018

Germany cruises past Canada at Hopman Cup

News Article

Photo: SMP ImagesAlexander Zverev (GER)

Germany edged closer to a place in Saturday’s Hopman Cup Final after easing to a 3-0 triumph over Canada at the Perth Arena on Wednesday.

Alexander Zverev banished memories of his defeat to David Goffin in his opening match after breezing past Vasek Pospisil 6-4 6-2 without facing so much as a break point, before Angelique Kerber overpowered Eugenie Bouchard 6-1 6-3 in just 57 minutes.

The two Germans then combined to win the mixed doubles in two tie-break fast four sets, winning 4-3(2) 4-3(2).

“We have two wins in our group, so hopefully we can get one more and still be here Saturday,” said Zverev. “That’s the most important thing. It’s a team competition and Angie is playing phenomenally well right now. We’re in a good spot.”

Kerber was, indeed, in fine form, adding to her opening tie win over Elise Mertens with another confident display against Bouchard, who had won four of their previous six matches.

“I was feeling very good from the very first point,” said Kerber, who fired 21 winners during the contest. “I was aggressive and played my game from the first ball. It’s not easy to play Genie, but I played a good match.”

Zverev looked in good touch too, a marked improvement on his opening singles contest in Perth.

“I felt much better on court today,” reflected Zverev. “A first match against Goffin was never going to be easy but I’m happy the way I played today.

“I served really well and played alright from the baseline, but there’s still plenty of work left to do.”

Germany will guarantee its place in the final if it defeats Australia on Friday night, but they will have Belgium, who could yet steal a place in the final, breathing down their necks if they slip up.

The Belgians defeated Australia in Wednesday’s evening session courtesy of Elise Mertens’ 2-6 6-4 6-2 victory over Daria Gavrilova and Goffin’s 64 62 win against Thanasi Kokkinakis - before the pair teamed to win the mixed doubles 4-3(3) 2-4 4-1 - and they could yet earn a place in Saturday’s Final if they defeat Canada on Friday and better Germany’s showing against Australia.

"It was really important tonight to win the tie and we did it - it will give us a lot of confidence for the next match," said Goffin, who was optimistic about Belgium's chances of a spot in the Final.

"Why not? We'll be focussed on what we can do," he said on court, adding with a grin, "Let's go Aussie, and let's hope they can win their last tie."