05
Jan
11

BMS scores big over Schiavone to put USA ahead.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands stunned world number seven Francesca Schiavone to set the United States on their way to a 2-1 win over Italy in their Hopman Cup Group B clash. Mattek-Sands triumphed 6-4 6-4 before John Isner sealed victory with a hard-fought 7-6 (7/5) 4-6 6-4 victory over Potito Starace. The Italians did clinch victory in the mixed doubles, though, as Schiavone and Starace pulled off a 6-7(5/7) 6-2 10-3 win to keep their hopes alive. The US now need just two more rubbers to guarantee their place in the final on Saturday.

“I worked pretty hard during the off-season and I had to hang in with Francesca, she’s a great player. That last game, I mean I was running side to side, but it was a great match,” Mattek-Sands said. The 25-year-old revealed she has been happy with the work she has done with her new coach Adam Altschuler. She added: “I’ve been without a coach for a long time, I’ve had a hitting partner here and there, but I was really picky with the coach. “I really wanted someone that believed in my game, I play aggressive and not a lot of people take chances like me. I needed to find someone that liked that style and believed in me.”

Isner claimed coming through a tough match would stand him in good stead for the rest of the competition. “It was definitely a good match to win, coming from behind could help me in the future,” he said. “I lost my serve three times and it doesn’t happen that often, but I’d rather win the match like this than win one where I didn’t lose my serve. This is going to give me some confidence going forward.”

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