31 Dec 2017

Australia opens with a win in Perth

News Article

Photo: SMP ImagesDaria Gavrilova (AUS)

Daria Gavrilova and Thanasi Kokkinakis sealed a win against Canada in Australia's first tie of the 30th edition of the Mastercard Hopman Cup.

Gavrilova opened proceedings against Canada's Genie Bouchard and stormed through the opening set, dropping just one game. The Canadian battled back in the second set, but Gavrilova proved too strong and secured a 61 64 win.

"I was telling myself ‘this is a good test, you’re going to have to do this so many times all year,’" revealed Gavrilova.

Kokkinakis has played in Perth once before but only as an injury replacement. He took on Vasek Pospisil in the second rubber and the Australian took a close opening set. Pospisil battled back in the second set and came out the victor. In the decider, the momentum swung back Kokkinakis' way and he secured a 64 36 63 win to hand Australia an insurmountable 2-0 lead.

"It’s amazing to be back," said an overjoyed Kokkinakis. "I played as a reserve here when I was 16. Missing my last two Australian Opens with injury has been pretty shattering, but I’m psyched to be back on the Aussie hard courts. It’s unbelievable here, it’s been a good start today."

The dead doubles rubber saw the Canadians rally and Bouchard and Pospisil earned a 43(1) 43(4) win to make the final score 2-1 to Australia.