Denmark beats USA 2-1 at Hopman Cup
A late-arriving Caroline Wozniacki and team-mate Frederik Nielsen beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish 7-5 6-3 in mixed doubles.
A late-arriving Caroline Wozniacki and team-mate Frederik Nielsen beat Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish 7-5 6-3 in mixed doubles to give Denmark a 2-1 win over the United States at the Hopman Cup on Monday.
Fish gave the US an early 1-0 lead after beating Nielsen 4-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in men’s singles, but Wozniacki, who arrived only four hours earlier on a flight from Thailand, beat Mattek-Sands 7-6 (7-4) 6-2 to level at 1-1 before the Danish pair combined to win the decider.
Women’s singles are usually played first under the tournament format, but officials delayed that match to allow the top-ranked Wozniacki more time to practice on the Burswood Dome hardcourts.
Wozniacki went straight from the airport to the arena and it showed early – she trailed 3-0 and 5-1 in the opening set.
“It’s the first time I’ve done that, and I felt a bit nervous,” Wozniacki said of her rushed arrival.
“I just started off playing too short and Bethanie just went for shots, made a lot of winners and it was tough for me to get into the points.
“But I just kept focusing. I didn’t even know it was 5-1 so I kept going and hoped for the best.”
Fish broke Neilsen when the Danish player was serving for the match at 6-5 in the second set to force the tiebreaker.
“The first one of the year is never pretty,” Fish said.
“I feel like I haven’t had much time off … it feels like only a couple of weeks ago I was in London at the tour finals.
“I am working on a lot of things on the mental side of things to improve myself, and during the match today, I was thinking about that and maybe a little less on the match.”
Fish is coming off his best year, moving into the top 10 for the first time in May 2010.
In another Group A match on Monday, Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych won singles matches to give Czech Republic a 2-1 victory over Bulgaria.
Australia will be aiming to get their Hopman Cup campaign back on track when they face off against France on Tuesday.
Lleyton Hewitt will take on world No.19 Richard Gasquet in the men’s singles, while Jarmila Gajdosova faces a tough contest against Marion Bartoli.
Australia lost to Spain 2-1 in their opening tie, but still have a chance of reaching Saturday’s final if they beat both France and China.