01 Jan 2018

Germany up and running with a win in Perth

News Article

Photo: SMP ImagesAngelique Kerber (GER)

Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber combined to defeat David Goffin and Elise Mertens in a decisive mixed doubles to give Germany a winning start at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

The pair won 42 43(4) in a 39-minute doubles contested in the fast four format, and world No. 3 Zverev had Kerber to thank for giving the Germans the opportunity to close out the tie.

“Luckily I had a partner like Angie who can get me through days like this when I’m not feeling the greatest on court,” said Zverev, who had lost to David Goffin 76(6) 63 in the second singles rubber after Kerber had put the Germans in front.

“For me it was the first time I played a mixed like this and I really enjoyed it,” said Kerber. “With Alex as a partner it was great fun.”

Earlier, the world No. 21 had been given a run around by Mertens, but saved a set point in the opener to prevail 76(6) 76(1) in an absorbing contest.

“I think it was a really high-quality match from both of us,” said the 2016 Australian Open champion.

“It gives me a lot of confidence to start the year like this. I think I need a few more matches to really get into my rhythm. However, for a start it was a good job.

“My goal is to play the three matches, hopefully four, and to find a good transition from all the practice to the match court ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year.”

Goffin was also in high spirits, despite defeat in the mixed, having recorded a victory over Zverev – a player he has never beaten at Tour level.

“I cannot start the year any better," said the Belgian. "It’s like I haven’t stopped from 2017, I finished so late after the Davis Cup Final.

“I’m already here, the season continues again and again, but I’m still hitting really well and very happy with the way I played in the first match of the year. Hopefully it continues like this.”

Tuesday's play at the Perth Arena will see Japan take on USA in the day session, before Russia take on Roger Federer’s Switzerland in the evening.