Archive for the 'Hopman Cup' Category

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.

 

06
Jan
12

Czech Republic booked their spot in the final of the Hopman Cup.

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Czech Republic booked their spot in the final of the Hopman Cup after Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych helped them to victory over Denmark. Kvitova set up the win when she put her country 1-0 up by beating Caroline Wozniacki 7-6 3-6 6-4 in a battle between the top two players in the world. Berdych then cruised past Frederik Nielsen 6-1 6-3 to give the Czechs an unassailable lead and a place alongside France in the final of the mixed gender team event. Although there were no WTA ranking points on offer Kvitova and Wozniacki gave it their all, with the former eventually emerging victorious after a contest that featured numerous swings of momentum. Kvitova had played down the importance of the clash beforehand but said afterwards that the result would give her a confidence boost heading into the Australian Open. “It was a great match from both of us,” the Wimbledon champion said. “I am glad that I won because it was a small test of how we are prepared for the Aussie Open. Caroline played very well and it was a close match.”

Despite the defeat, Wozniacki will take plenty of positives from her performance and is confident she will improve with more time on court. “I didn’t feel like I was playing my best tennis in my first two matches, but I worked on some things yesterday that I wanted to improve,” Wozniacki said. “I felt like we both played some good tennis out there and it could have gone either way. I feel like my form is starting to go up and I always play better with a few matches under my belt.”

In a match of contrasting styles, Kvitova hit twice as many errors as her more defensively-minded opponent, with the more aggressive approach paying off in the deciding set. Both Kvitova and Berdych and have gone unbeaten through their rubbers in the group stage, meaning Czech Republic have wrapped up victory in every match so far before the mixed doubles contest.

 

 

04
Jan
12

Bulgaria defeats Denmark in the Hopman Cup to put Group A up for grabs.

Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov has ensured that Group A at Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV remains wide open after beating Denmark’s Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen 2-1 at Session 7 at Perth’s Burswood Dome today. Denmark got off to a good start when world No. 1 Wozniacki won her women’s singles match over Pironkova 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 but then exciting Bulgarian youngster Dimitrov beat Nielsen 7-6, 6-2 to force a deciding mixed doubles. That ended up going to the Match Tie-break as well after Denmark won the first set 6-3 and Bulgaria the second 6-4. Pironkova and Dimitrov dominated the Match Tie-break, though, 10 points to one to win the first Tie at the Hopman Cup for their nation in their debut appearance. The result in favour of Bulgaria also makes sure that Group A remains wide open in the race for Saturday’s Final. Denmark and Bulgaria have now won a Tie each as have the top-seeded Czech Republic but the fourth-seeds USA are yet to notch a victory. However, the American team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish will face the Czech pairing of Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych tonight in Session 8 of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV. A Czech Republic win would mean they are in prime position to make the Final heading into Friday’s Tie with Denmark, but if the USA are victorious then Friday’s double-header will see all four teams from Group A still capable of earning a spot in the Final.

The Tie began with Wozniacki having to fight hard for the second straight time in her women’s singles clash, but the world No. 1 came out victorious to open Session 7 with a 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 victory over Pironkova. The match lasted 2hrs 32mins to be the longest women’s singles clash this week so far. After the 21-year-old Dane made a whirlwind flight from Thailand to Perth on Monday to take on the USA’s Bethanie Mattek-Sands and end up winning 7-6, 6-2, she was again challenged strongly by her Bulgarian opponent. Pironkova might be ranked No. 46 in the world, but has beaten the likes of Venus Williams and Vera Zvonareva twice in her career already, and came out strongly against Wozniacki. The 24-year-old broke Wozniacki’s serve in the third game of the first set and then went up 4-2, but the world No. 1 quickly hit back to level things at 4-4, 5-5 and then broke Pironkova’s serve to take out the opening set 7-5 in 69 minutes. It was again Pironkova who started strongly in the second set as she raced to a 3-1 and then 4-2 advantage. This time she was able to maintain it to take out the set 6-4 to send the contest into a deciding third set. The third set was all the world No. 1, though, as she won it 6-2 to give Denmark a winning start to the Tie fresh off their win over the USA on Monday night as well. Dimitrov then won his men’s singles clash over Nielsen 7-6, 6-2. Nielsen, though, was coming off an outstanding three-set performance against American Mardy Fish on Monday night and Dimitrov also took it up to Czech Tomas Berdych on Monday. That set up a tight tussle between the Bulgarian and Dane. The first set was an especially hotly-contested battle. There was no break of serve despite both players, but especially Dimitrov, having plenty of break points. It went to the tie-break and Dimitrov was able to open up an early 6-2 advantage. Nielsen did hit back to be within 5-6, but the Bulgarian was able to hold serve for the last point to secure the set seven points to five. The Bulgarian then eventually capitalised on a break point opportunity in the first game of the second set to take Nielsen’s serve and from there the 20-year-old cruised through to take it out 6-2.

Then in the mixed doubles, it was the Denmark pair who made the bright start taking out the first set 6-3. However, Pironkova and Dimitrov hit back in the second winning it 6-4 any cruised to the Match Tie-break victory to heat things up in Group A of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV.

 

02
Jan
12

“It’s been a long day but it’s been a good day.” says Wozniacki after she ‘jets’ in to defeat the US team.

World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki had an unusual preparation for her Hyundai Hopman Cup debut on Monday evening against the USA, but it was all for a worthy cause and once she landed in Perth, and helped Frederik Nielsen to a victory over the Americans it was all well and truly worth it. The Danish pair were making their debuts at the Hopman Cup as well against two former winners of the tournament in the form of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish, and performed tremendously. Nielsen took the world No. 8 Fish to three tough sets, Wozniacki then prevailed over Mattek-Sands and the Danish duo finished off by winning the mixed doubles. However, Wozniacki’s journey to play in her first Tie was quite the whirlwind one.

The 21-year-old world No. 1 brought in the New Year in Thailand and then played world No. 3 Victoria Azarenka on Sunday in a charity tournament to raise money for the victims of the Thailand floods. She then flew out of Thailand on Monday and landed in Perth late that afternoon, came straight from the airport to the Burswood Dome, had a hit while Nielsen was playing Fish on Centre Court and then took on Mattek-Sands herself in the women’s singles. It made for quite the eventual debut at the Hopman Cup for Wozniacki, but she enjoyed the whole experience and wouldn’t change a thing.

“It’s been a big day. It’s been a long day but it’s been a good day. I’m just happy that we played really well and I really enjoyed that mixed doubles. I always have fun and there’s absolutely no pressure on the girls so all the pressures on the men so I like that,” Wozniacki said. “I spent New Year’s there and last night I played a charity match for the floods in Thailand. I just flew in a few hours before my match, went straight here and warmed up. Frederik was playing an unbelievable match against Mardy so I had a little bit of time to settle down and went in and played my singles and played the mixed.” Straight after her and Nielsen’s mixed doubles win over Mattek-Sands and Fish late on Monday evening, Wozniacki was keen to catch up on some rest but then also check out some of the sights of Perth. “I will probably have some good food and back to bed. I’ll sleep in and have some good breakfast, the most important meal for me and then just have a light hit,” she said. “Then probably a light gym session and then maybe get out and see Perth a little. It’s my first time so I’m really happy to be here and the crowd were amazing so thank you everybody for coming out and supporting.”

Wozniacki might not have been in Perth long, but playing in the Hyundai Hopman Cup is something she has long wanted to do and it has certainly lived it up to everything she imagined so far after one Session. “I love being here. The crowd is amazing and I’ve watched the Hopman Cup on TV so many times,” Wozniacki said. “To have the opportunity to play here is just great and I can see there’s a lot of Danish people here as well so that’s fantastic.”

Courtesy of Chris Pike

31
Dec
11

France defeats China on day one of the Hopman Cup.

Li Na did her bit but it wasn’t enough to lift China to victory in their Hopman Cup teams tennis clash with France in Perth on Saturday. Li came from a set down to defeat world No.9 Marion Bartoli 2-6 6-2 6-4 in the women’s singles but was forced to watch on helplessly as compatriot Wu Di was crushed 6-1 6-3 by Richard Gasquet in the men’s singles. France then romped to victory in the deciding mixed doubles, with Bartoli and Gasquet needing just 42 minutes to sweep to the 6-1 6-1 triumph. Earlier, Bartoli appeared on track for a straight-sets win in the women’s singles after taking the first set in 44 minutes before setting up two break points early in the second set. But Li, who has struggled to recapture top form since winning the French Open earlier this year, showed far more urgency from that point on, winning the last four games of the second set before grinding down Bartoli in the decider.

“At the beginning of the match she was playing so fast. I was like ‘what’s going on’,” Li said. “But after three or four games I got used to it.” Li said her French Open success in May had changed her life in so many ways, but may have also adversely affected her performances. “If I go somewhere to play a tournament, more people know who I am. I lose concentration on the court. I’m only focusing on the photo shooting,” she said with a laugh. “It’s tough after winning a big title, (maintaining) the concentration.”

Australia’s unseeded pairing of Lleyton Hewitt and Jarmila Gajdosova kick off their campaign on Sunday against third-seeded Spaniards Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues.

15
Nov
11

Kvitova will take on Wozniacki in the 2012 Hopman Cup.

HYUNDAI Hopman Cup XXIV (Saturday 31 December 2011 – Saturday 7 January 2012) will begin with reigning French Open champion Li Na making her debut in Perth by taking on France’s world No. 11 Marion Bartoli. Sunday’s Session 2 will see Australian No. 2 Jarmila Gajdosova take on Spanish No. 1 Anabel Medina Garrigues, and Lleyton Hewitt face former world No. 7 Fernando Verdasco in what potentially will be two of the matches of the week.

The Czech Republic has been announced as the No. 1 seeds for the 24th instalment of the Hyundai Hopman Cup at the Burswood Dome as reigning Wimbledon champion world No.4 Petra Kvitova partners world No. 7 Tomas Berdych who is coming to Perth for his third appearance, but first time with Kvitova. The Czechs will be joined in Group A by the fourth-seeded USA team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish, the Denmark team of world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen, and Bulgaria’s Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov.

Group B will feature No. 2 seeds France made up of world No. 11 Bartoli and the 17th ranked Richard Gasquet, joined by the third-seeded Spanish team of Medina Garrigues and Verdasco, the Australian team of world No. 30 Gajdosova and former world No. 1 and dual Grand Slam champion Hewitt, and China’s French Open winner Na and Wu Di. Monday evening’s Session 4 will see world No. 1 Wozniacki play for the first time at the Hopman Cup and become the 24th No. 1 ranked player to do so. She will take on the USA’s Mattek-Sands, who is defending champion having won earlier in 2011 alongside John Isner. Tuesday evening sees Australia face off against the second-seeded French, in what is sure to be a pivotal tie for the Aussies. Wednesday night’s Session 8 also looms as a cracker between the Czech Republic and the USA, the two seeds from Group A. With Kvitova playing Mattek-Sands, and then world No. 7 Berdych taking on the ninth-ranked Fish, it is sure to be a tie to watch out for. Sessions 9 and 10 over Thursday and Friday will then feature the double-headers starting with Group A with Australia playing China, and France taking on Spain, that sees Gasquet and Verdasco doing battle on the men’s side. The two have both been ranked in the top 10, are among the most exciting and naturally talented players in the game so are sure to put on a show.

On Friday, the Czech Republic plays Denmark and the USA takes on Bulgaria. That tie is perhaps highlighted by world No. 1 Wozniacki taking on world No. 4 Kvitova.

15
Sep
11

Serena Williams and Andy Roddick might play as a pair at the 2012 Hopman Cup.

Serena hints Hopman Cup date with A-Rod

Williams has dropped a big hint that she will be playing in the next instalment of the Hopman Cup in Perth, starting in late December. And the 13-time grand slam champion has also indicated she will bring ace Andy Roddick as her playing partner in what would be a mighty US team in the mixed doubles championship. Williams sent out a curious message via her twitter account about her plans for the Australian summer. “Me and @andyroddick decided to play mixed doubles Australia! We Love Aussie! …… Book it its real!,” said the tweet. And the reason why there is speculation the pair will be in Perth for New Year’s Eve is that the Hopman Cup is the only tournament on the Australian summer tennis calendar with a top-level mixed doubles competition outside the Australian Open. Adding spice to the suggestion is that Roddick hasn’t played men’s doubles, let alone mixed doubles, at a grand slam event for 10 years. Hopman Cup organisers replied to the Williams-Roddick claims via twitter and the comment gave hope that the American duo were coming to town. “Can’t confirm anything just yet, it was a midnight tweet from Serena in the US, so no word from her agent at this stage,” the tweet said. Williams, working her back to full fitness following injury, is ranked 14th on the women’s tour and earlier this week lost to Australia’s Sam Stosur in the US Open final. Roddick, ranked 14 on the men’s circuit, won the 2003 US Open and is a former world No.1. The pair plan to play in the mixed doubles at the London Olympics next year and could be looking to use the Hopman Cup to fine-tune their game. Williams won the Hopman Cup in her two appearances in 2003 (with James Blake) and 2007 (with Mardy Fish). Should Roddick come to Perth it would be his first time at the event.

 

08
Jan
11

USA wins the cup, but Nicolas Mahut steals the show!

The United States remains well and truly the most successful Hyundai Hopman Cup nation with the team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and John Isner claiming their sixth victory inside Perth’s Burswood Dome in front of a crowd of 8564 people. The USA team came into Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII unseeded but played outstanding tennis all week dominating Group B beating France’s Kristina Mladenovic and Nicolas Mahut 3-0, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone and Potito Starace 2-1 and Great Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray 3-0. Mattek-Sands and Isner took on the Belgium team of Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelmans in the Final after they replaced the Serbian team of Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic when Ivanovic suffered a slight stomach tear.

”It’s been an amazing week. It’s my first time in Perth and I’ve really enjoyed myself. It’s funny, I saw this (diamond tennis ball trophy) actually when I first got here and I thought it was the best trophy in sports,” Mattek-Sands said. ”This is one of the best run events of the WTA Tour of the year. It’s fantastic. There was a really strong field this year, there was great players; Ana, Justine, Djokovic, Hewitt. I hope everyone enjoyed watching some great tennis this week.” Isner made his debut at last year’s Hopman Cup and was delighted to return, and to partner Mattek-Sands to form a winning team. He was also happy to bounce back from a tough loss to Murray. ”I’ve got to thank Bethanie; her back’s got to be hurting from carrying me all week. She was rock solid all week long,” Isner said.

07
Jan
11

An Ivanovic injury forces Sebia to withdraw from the Hopman Cup final.

Bethanie Mattek-Sands put the US into the weekend final of the Hopman Cup mixed team event against Belgium, which was to substitute for Serbia, forced to retire due to an injury. A stomach muscle tear to Ana Ivanovic forced group winner Serbia to withdraw from the Saturday title match. A 3-0 win earlier in the day by France over Italy failed to prevent the US from going through as Mattek-Sands beat teenaged Laura Robson 6-4, 6-2.

Earlier, French teenager Kristina Mladenovic spent less than 30 minutes on court before Roland Garros winner Francesca Schiavone had to retire with a groin strain at 4-4. Nicolas Mahut of France seized the momentum to complete the win as he beat Potito Starace 6-3, 7-6 (7-2).

Injured Ivanovic said doctors diagnosed a grade 1, or relatively minor, tear of an abdominal muscle, with the 2008 French Open winner now facing a fight for fitness with the Australian Open starting a week from Monday. The injury forced the Serb to also withdraw form next week’s WTA event in Sydney and will prevent her and Novak Djokovic form bidding for a first title at Perth’s Burswood Dome. “I’m very disappointed, I really felt we worked hard to get here and we had the chance to play the final,” Ivanovic said. “It’s not a huge injury, but it’s stupid and bad timing.” Ivanovic said she first felt the problem in the second set of her match Thursday against Belgian Justine Henin. Then during practice earlier Friday, “on one serve I felt a sharp pain,” she said. “After that I couldn’t hit any more. I stopped straight away and went to see the doctor.” She said she was doing her best to stay positive. “At least I have a week before the Open. My chances to play are good,” she said. “The doctors said I will need three or four rest days and then maybe gradual treatment like icing and laser. Hopefully I can start doing the bicycle in a few days.”

06
Jan
11

Serbs relax on the Swan River and move on to the final.

Serbia booked their place in the Hopman Cup final after world number three Novak Djokovic beat Belgium’s Ruben Bemelmans 6-3 6-2 in Perth. The top seeds had already defeated Kazakhstan and Australia and needed to win only one rubber in their final Group A match against Belgium. In the opening rubber, Belgium’s Justine Henin continued her comeback with a 6-4 6-3 win over Ana Ivanovic. Henin and Bemelmans took the mixed doubles 3-6 6-4 10-4 to seal a 2-1 win.

Serbia will take on Italy, the United States or France in Saturday’s final, with the Group B standings to be decided on Friday when Great Britain, who are already eliminated, take on the US and Italy face France.




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