07
Jan
12

Czech Republic wins second Hopman Cup.

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The Czech Republic has won the Hyundai Hopman Cup for the second time with top seeds Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych going right through the week unbeaten in singles ending with the Final inside the Burswood Dome on Saturday against France’s Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet. World No. 2 Kvitova finished off her outstanding week and debut in Perth by beating world No. 9 Frenchwoman Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 in the women’s singles to give the Czechs a winning start and then the seventh ranked Berdych finished the job beating former world No. 7 Gasquet 7-6, 6-4. It is the Czech Republic’s second Hopman Cup title after Jana Novotna and Petr Korda won the sixth tournament in 1994 by beating Germany’s Anke Huber and Bernd Karbacher in the Final.

Now in the nation’s eighth appearance at the Hyundai Hopman Cup, Kvitova and Berdych have added their names to the list of champions and also made the Czech Republic just the sixth country to win the Cup at least twice along with the USA (six times), Slovak Republic (three), Spain (three), Switzerland (two) and Germany (two). It has been an outstanding week in Perth for the Czech pair who now both have every reason to have confidence of contending for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne at the Australian Open. Kvitova is fresh off an amazing 2011 that included a Wimbledon crown, the Fed Cup and being the ITF World Champion and WTA Player of the Year, and now her 2012 has got off to an outstanding start. This week she has beaten defending American Hopman Cup champion Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova, world No. 1 from Denmark Caroline Wozniacki and then in the Final France’s Bartoli. “It was a really good match (against Wozniacki) but today I played much better against Marion and it’s always tough to play with someone at the top,” Kvitova said. “It’s really good to win at the beginning of the season and of course I have to say thank you to Tomas because without him we wouldn’t win. “You played really unbelievable and it was an honour to play with you. And of course with our team, with them it’s always really fun. It’s really enjoyable in Perth and of course I have to say thank you to Hopman Cup.”

Berdych was playing for the Czech Republic at the Hopman Cup for the third time and also went through undefeated in his men’s singles matches with American Mardy Fish, Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov, Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen and then France’s Gasquet in the Final. “It couldn’t be better, it was an extremely great week and first of all I need to congratulate my partner. She won all she can and I just add some winnings again and now we can be standing here and have such a nice trophy so it was really good week,” Berdych said. “I think it was possibly the best Final that could come of those two Groups and we are happy for that. We would like to congratulate them as well to get the Final and wish them both the best of luck for the rest of the season, for the Australian Open and all of the weeks. I think everybody enjoyed it, we had the best time on court and I hope the people liked it.”

France also had a tremendous week in Perth, though, as Bartoli and Gasquet got their nation into the Hopman Cup Final for the second time, but the French are still chasing that elusive first title. Bartoli might have lost tight encounters with Kvitova and world No. 5 Li Na, but did beat Australia’s Jarmila Gajdosova and Spain’s Anabel Medina Garrigues impressively. Gasquet has this week shown the form that saw him reach the world No. 7 ranking in 2007 by beating Australia’s Lleyton Hewitt, Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and China’s Wu Di.

The attendance for Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV, which will be the last at Perth’s Burswood Dome before the tournament moves to the new Perth Arena, was 8365 to take the total for the week to an impressive 72,776.

 

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