Perth WA, Australia, 5 January 2014 | AAP
World No.10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tuned up for the Australian Open in grand style by guiding France to the Hyundai Hopman Cup title at Perth Arena.
France won the mixed-teams event for the first time, beating Poland 2-1 in a thrilling final in front of 10,005 fans.
Tsonga overcame a second-set scare to beat Grzegorz Panfil 6-3 3-6 6-3 in the men’s singles before world No.5 Agnieszka Radwanska levelled the tie with a drama-filled 6-3 6-7(7) 6-2 win over Alize Cornet.
Tsonga then dominated proceedings in the deciding mixed doubles to lift France to a 6-0 6-2 triumph in just 47 minutes, with Cornet jumping into his arms once they secured victory.
Earlier, Cornet looked down and out in her singles match after losing the first set and going 5-3 down in the second.
The world No.27 managed to save a match point, but she broke out in tears a few points later when a series of long-winded rallies left her struggling to breathe.
Despite Cornet being on the verge of collapsing, match umpire James Keothavong gave her a time violation.
“I was trying to tell the chair umpire not to give me a time violation,” Cornet said.
“I was like ‘I can’t breathe’.
“He didn’t see it unfortunately.”
Cornet battled on to win the 80-minute second set in a tiebreak.
But she had no energy left for the deciding set, with Radwanska securing the epic win in 153 minutes.
Tsonga’s failure to convert any of his seven break points in the second set of the men’s singles rubber came back to haunt him as world No.288 Panfil converted his sole break point.
The 28-year-old was filthy on himself for missing those chances, but he made good in the third set as he secured the win in 100 minutes.
Panfil was only called up for the Hopman Cup after world No.21 Jerzy Janowicz pulled out with injury.