Perth, 3 January 2011 | AAP
Star Serbian duo Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic lived up to their Hopman Cup top billing with a 3-0 demolition of Kazakhstan in the mixed teams tournament on Sunday night.
Playing together in Perth for the second time, the pre-tournament favourites and top seeds breezed through their opening tie to set up a meeting with Australia on Tuesday.
“I needed to get a little bit fitter, but I have put a lot of hard work in the past few months,” said a slimline Ivanovic, who gave the Serbians a 1-0 lead with a straight sets win over Yaroslava Shvedova 7-6(6) 6-1.
“It is getting results and I am happy to see that and get assurance that you are on the right path,” said the 23-year-old Ivanovic, ranked 17th in the world, who has trimmed down noticeably during the off-season.
“I definitely feel I am in good shape,” she said.
In the men’s singles, world number three Djokovic overcame a slow start to wear down the feisty Andrey Golubev 4-6 6-3 6-1.
The two former world number ones then completed a clean sweep of the tie by winning the dead mixed doubles rubber 7-6(2) 6-4.
Djokovic, the 2008 Australian Open champion, admitted he was still weary after a late arrival in Perth.
“We got here just two days ago and it is really hard to get used to the time change and conditions here,” he said.
“In the first set I was too defensive, I was serving a lot of double faults and wasn’t playing well.
“But then I found my pace and I was happy the way I finished off.”
The Serbian revealed that he was coming off the shortest post-season break of his career after leading his country to a famous Davis Cup success over France in early December.
“Not even two weeks,” he said. “That’s the way it is, many players in the past have had the same situation.”