Hyundai Hopman Cup - An official international mixed team tennis event of the ITF in Perth, Australia

Hopman Cup

Hopman Cup 2010 (XXII)

2010 Hopman Cup Champions

Date: 2-9 January 2010

Venue: Burswood Dome, Perth

Teams

Australia Spain  Romania  United States
Lleyton Hewitt Tommy Robredo  Victor Hanescu  John Isner
Samantha Stosur Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez  Sorana Cirstea  Melanie Oudin
Russia Germany Kazakhstan Great Britain
Igor Andreev Philipp Kohlschreiber Andrey Golubev Andy Murray
Melanie Oudin Sabine Lisicki Yaroslava Shvedova Laura Robson

Results

Final

Spain 2 d Great Britain 1 

Laura Robson d Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez 6-1 7-6(6)
Time: 96 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Tommy Robredo d Andy Murray 1-6 6-4 6-3
Time: 113 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Robson/Murray 7-6(6) 7-5
Time: 99 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Session 10

Great Britain 2 d Russia 1

Elena Dementieva d Laura Robson 6-4 6-0
Time: 69 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Andy Murray d Igor Andreev 6-1 6-0
Time: 50 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Robson/Murray d Dementieva/Andreev 6-4 6-7(6) 7-6(6)
Time: 103 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Kazakhstan 2 d Germany 0

Yaroslava Shvedova d Sabine Lisicki 6-4 7-6(3)
Time: 96 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Andrey Golubev d Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-1
Time: 57 minutes, Umpire: Simon Cannavan

Lisicki/Kohlschreiber v Shvedova/Golubev - not played

Session 9

Spain 3 d Australia 0

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Samantha Stosur 6-4 6-1
Time: 71 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Tommy Robredo d Lleyton Hewitt 6-2 6-4
Time: 80 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Stosur/Hewitt 6-3 3-6 7-6(7)
Time: 72 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

USA 3 d Romania 0

Melanie Oudin d Sorana Cirstea 6-2 6-3
Time: 59 minutes, Umpire: Simon Cannavan

John Isner d Victor Hanescu 6-0 6-0 (walkover)

Oudin/Isner d Cirstea/Hanescu 6-0 6-0 (walkover)

Session 8

Kazakhstan 2 d Russia 1 

Elena Dementieva d Yaroslava Shvedova6-3 6-1
Time: 70 minutes, Umpire: Simon Cannavan

Andrey Golubev d Igor Andreev 6-4 6-3
Time: 83 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Shvedova/Golubev d Dementieva/Andreev 7-6(3) 6-4
Time: 92 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Session 7

Great Britain 2 d Germany 1

Sabine Lisicki d Laura Robson 7-6(5) 6-3
Time: 92 minutes, Umpire: Simon Cannavan

Andy Murray d Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-1
Time: 60 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Robson/Murray d Lisicki/Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-2
Time: 72 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Session 6

Spain 3 d Romania 0

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Sorana Cirstea 6-4 6-3
Time: 94 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Tommy Robredo d Victor Hanescu 6-3 6-0 ret.

Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Cirstea/Hanescu 6-0 6-0 (walkover)

Session 5

Australia 2 d USA 1

Samantha Stosur d Melanie Oudin 6-2 6-4
Time: 70 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Lleyton Hewitt d John Isner 6-1 7-5
Time: 78 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Oudin/Isner d Stosur/Hewitt 2-6 6-1 7-6(5)
Time: 61 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Session 4

Great Britain 2 d Kazakhstan 1

Yaroslava Shvedova d Laura Robson  4-6 6-3 6-0
Time: 105 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Andy Murray d Andrey Golubev 6-2 6-2
Time: 63 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Robson/Murray d Shvedova/Golubev 6-3 5-7 7-6(10)
Time: 104 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Session 3

Russia 2 d Germany 1

Sabine Lisicki d Elena Dementieva 6-4 6-1
Time: 63 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Igor Andreev d Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-3 6-7 6-3
Time: 133 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Dementieva/Andreev d Lisicki/Kohlschreiber 6-4 7-6(7)
Time: 130 minutes, Umpire: Simon Cannavan

Session 2

Spain 3 d USA 0

Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez d Melanie Oudin 6-4 6-4
Time: 94 minutes, Umpire: Simon Cannavan

Tommy Robredo d John Isner 6-7(5) 6-3 7-6(4)
Time: 148 minutes, Umpire: John Blom

Martinez Sanchez/Robredo d Oudin/Isner 6-4 7-5
Time: 69 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Session 1

Romania 2 d Australia 1

Sorana Cirstea d Samantha Stosur 3-6 6-4 6-3
Time: 113 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Lleyton Hewitt d Victor Hanescu 3-6 6-3 7-6(2)
Time: 150 minutes, Umpire: Alison Lang

Cirstea/Hanescu d Stosur/Hewitt 7-5 6-1
Time: 73 minutes, Umpire: Louise Engzell

Match Summaries

Final

Spain 2 d Great Britain 1

SPAIN’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo rebounded from a shock women’s singles loss against Great Britain to win the men’s and mixed doubles rubbers to win the Final of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII 2-1.

Great Britain’s 15-year-old star in the making Laura Robson gave her country the perfect start in their first Cup Final by shocking world No. 26 Martinez Sanchez 6-1, 7-6 (6) to win her first singles match of the week.

That set things up beautifully for her world No. 4 partner Andy Murray to continue his form from the week that saw him not drop a set. He looked likely to do that by winning the first set over Tommy Robredo 6-1, but the Spaniard world No. 16 bounced back winning the next two 6-4, 6-3 to force a deciding mixed doubles.

The first set went right down to the tie-break and Britain earned three match points at 6-3, but couldn’t capitalise and Spain did on their first opportunity. The second again appeared to be heading to a tie-break until Martinez Sanchez and Robredo broke Robson’s serve on the last game to win the set 7-5 and the championship.

The win is Spain’s third in the 22-year history of the Hopman Cup after Arantxa Sanchez Vicario won with brother Emilio Sanchez in 1990 and then Robredo in 2002.

Spain is now equal with the Slovak Republic as the second most successful Cup nation, behind the USA who has won it on five occasions.

Robson had competed well all week, especially in the first sets, against Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova, Germany’s Sabine Lisicki and even Russia’s Elena Dementieva, but it all clicked for the 15-year-old in the Final against Martinez Sanchez.

The Spaniard world No. 26 had not dropped a set in her singles matches all week in Group A, but the pressure of the Final and the confidence oozing from Robson proved too much for her in the first set.

Robson took that out by playing an incredibly cool set defying her age and the pressure of the Final by winning it 6-1. The second set was a closer affair and remained on serve until Martinez Sanchez broke Robson to go to a 5-3 lead.

The young Brit was able to break straight back and it eventually went to the tie-break. Martinez Sanchez went up 2-0, but Robson hit back to lead 6-2 and have four match points. She lost them all, but gained control again with a superb forehand winner and then closed out the biggest win of her short career.

Highlighting the way she handled the pressure better is that the young Brit hit 28 winners while Martinez Sanchez had 36 unforced errors, 18 on each side.

The 15-year-old played the best match of her career to date and couldn’t have been happier with it.

“I was pretty nervous in the end but I just tried to keep going for my shots. It was pretty convenient that the only match I won was in the Final so I’m happy,” Robson said.

“I’m really happy and I thought I played well, especially in the first set – I completely dominated. I’m just really happy at the moment.”

Murray blitzed the first set to continue the form he has shown all week. He repeated Robson’s 6-1 win in her opening set to leave Robredo bewildered.

Robredo was able to hold on in his five service games in the second set, including the last one to love and then put real pressure on Murray’s serve for the first time all week. Robredo was able to get the break to take the set 6-4.

The Spaniard then raced to a 3-0 and 4-1 lead to start the third set and he had no trouble closing the match out by winning the set 6-3.

“I thought that the people deserved to watch the mixed doubles for the Final so I tried my best. I was just watching the diamond ball and pushing hard because I really would love to have one more,” Robredo said.

“I won the second set and then on the serve I played great and I am so happy because I’m against one of the great players of the world right now. Beating him at the beginning of the year is going to give me a lot of confidence.

“It was very important win because if Maria at the beginning of the day will win, it would be very important but not that much. But Maria, she couldn’t win today, so then if I didn’t win we have to go home – so it’s more important.”

It was a tight and tense first set in the mixed doubles that went all the way to the tie-break. Britain earned an early 6-3 advantage, but Spain took it out 8-6 in the end to go one step closer to the win. The second set saw the tension rise another notch again.

Things stayed on serve right the way through, but with Spain up 5-4 they had two match points on Murray’s serve. Britain served, but then after Spain held again the pressure was on Robson to send the set to the tie-break and avoid the defeat.

Spain was able to earn a third championship point on her serve and capitalised when Robredo scorched a backhand winner down the line for the victory.

Session 10

  • Great Britain 2 d Russia 1
  • Kazakhstan 2 d Germany 0

GREAT Britain has come out on top of Group B at the Hyundai Hopman Cup to advance to the Final against Spain with a thrilling win over Russia inside the Burswood Dome on Friday.

Coming into the Session, Britain, Russia and Kazakhstan were all still a chance of booking a spot in Saturday’s Final against the Spanish team of Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo.

Great Britain 15-year-old old Laura Robson fell in two sets to world No. 5 Russian Elena Dementieva, but it was a good effort by the youngster in the first set to only lose 4-6. Dementieva then dominated the second 6-0.

Andy Murray put on his third clinic of the week in the men’s singles to dominate Igor Andreev 6-1, 6-0 in 50 minutes.

It then came down to the mixed doubles and Britain went up 6-4, 3-1 before the Russians fought back. Dementieva and Andreev forced a second set tie-break before claiming that eight points to six to force a deciding Match Tie-break, which would determine if Kazakhstan was still alive.

A Russian win would mean that Kazakhstan could make the Final with a mixed doubles win over Germany following Yaroslava Shvedova and Andrey Golubev’s singles win against Germany on Court 1.

However, Robson and Murray held on 10 points to six to make the Final and hold off the Russian charge and to leave Kazakhstan deflated watching on the TV in the locker room.

The win takes Britain to its first Hopman Cup Final and Robson knows what she wants to win on Saturday for.

“I want those diamonds,” Robson said.

Her partner Murray was quick to praise Robson’s mixed doubles form to allow Britain to make the Final. He’s also looking forward to his fourth career meeting with Robredo and wants nothing short of winning the Hopman Cup now.

“I’ve got to say thanks to Laura. She was awesome today and did a great job. In the mixed the guys are supposed to dominate a match, but every time I tried to we lost the point so I just let her do it all herself, and she did great,” Murray said.

“I’ve played Tommy a few times. Twice last year I beat him and he won once against me two or three years ago. It will be a tough match, he has played great here. Laura definitely has a chance to win her match and I definitely want to win the tournament.”

With her partner Andreev facing a massive challenge against Murray, Dementieva had to take care of business against Robson, but found the going tough in the opening set.

She was struggling to land her first serve in and the 15-year-old Brit capitalised by breaking her serve twice to even things at 4-4. However, Dementieva’s experience shone through as she scored another break and then served out the first set.

Robson’s challenge ended there, though, as the Russian showed her class in the second set to close it out 6-0 by taking out the last eight games against the young Brit 13 years her junior.

Dementieva was tremendously impressed with Robson, though, but glad to get the win and she’s enjoying her first appearance in Perth.

“She’s playing unbelievably well for 15 years old and very enthusiastic on the court – you know trying to hit as hard as possible. She was very professional so I was very impressed with her,” Dementieva said.

“It’s been a good week here in Perth. I’ve had some good games and some good matches. I’m really enjoying my time here.”

Murray began his match with Andreev in ominous form winning his first game on serve inside a minute and then racing to a 3-0 lead. Andreev then got on the board, but it would prove his only game of the match against the dominant world No. 4.

Murray closed out the match winning 6-0 in the second set to put Britain in the box seat for the Final.

“I played really well and didn’t make too many mistakes. I got off to a good start in all of the matches this week, which helps and settled me down a little bit. Today was definitely the best I’ve played so far,” Murray said.

“You’ve just got to keep going for your shots and try a few things out against the net quite a lot at the start of the match. I started playing really aggressively on return of serve and everything went well. I was just happy that all the things I worked on the practice court were good.”

Unfortunately for Kazakhstan, their form came too little too late, but they played great tennis all week and dominated Germany in the singles matches on Friday.

Shvedova set the pace when she downed Sabine Lisicki in straight sets 6-4 7-6 (3). The Kazak was not only competing against the German but also against her flu like symptoms. She was not in the best shape on court.

During games she was struggling for air and coughing constantly. But she survived Lisicki’s powerful long shots and the few drop shots she played. It was a big and impressive win for Shvedova against the 22nd ranked German to go with her win over Laura Robson this week.

Golubev came out on court slightly more confident after Shvedova had kept Kazakhstan’s Final hopes alive. He powered through the match in under an hour winning 6-2 6-1.

Golubev served seven aces with three of them winning him the games. Philipp Kohlschreiber constantly played to Golubev’s backhand, his weaker stroke, until the Kazakhstani found pace to get around the shots and hit off-forehand winners.

They were all set to go out for their mixed doubles clash to play for a Final spot, but Britain ended those chances by beating Russia.

The Final of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII will now be between fourth-seeds Spain and third-seeds Great Britain starting at 9.30am (WST) on Saturday.

Session 9

  • Spain 3 d Australia 0
  • USA 3 d Romania 0

AUSTRALIA could not drop a set to Spain in Thursday’s Session 9 of the Hyundai Hopman Cup, but the Spanish team of Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo proved too strong and have advanced to their fifth Cup Final.

Spain had won its opening two Ties 3-0 against the USA and Romania, while Australia lost 1-2 to Romania and beat the Americans 2-1, so Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt had to convincingly beat the No. 4 seeds who had looked terrific all week.

That task proved too much when world No. 26 Martinez Sanchez took out the first set of the women’s singles against the 13th ranked Stosur. The Spaniard won that 6-4 and then dominated the second 6-2 to wrap the match up in 71 minutes.

Martinez Sanchez couldn’t be happier with her week in Perth so far that has seen her beat Melanie Oudin, Sorana Cirstea and now Stosur.

“It is not easy at the beginning of the year to play like this. In the pre-season I worked too much and I suffered. It was too much,” Martinez Sanchez said.

“This tournament is a great preparation for me for the Aussie Open and I’m so happy. I feel great.”

High-quality veterans Hewitt and Robredo then met for just the third time of their decorated careers in the men’s singles, and it was the Spaniard that took control. Incredibly he won the first four games as Hewitt hit four double faults and Robredo closed out the set 6-2.

The second was a tighter affair and remained on serve until the ninth game when Robredo broke Hewitt’s serve. He then served it out to win the match 6-2, 6-4.

Robredo took advantage of a Hewitt that was struggling a little with a sore back to score an impressive win as he prepares to try and win his second Cup for Spain.

“I served pretty well and it gave me a lot of chances to play easy. Then I think that Lleyton was not 100 per cent fit, he had some problems. At the beginning he was making a lot of double faults which is not used to him,” Robredo said.

“I’m just one match away from winning again now. I heard that this year there are so many more diamonds on the ball too, so it’s pretty nice. I have a good partner and I have to keep going because she’s playing that good that I have to do my best because then we will be very close to the diamond ball.”

Spain also won the mixed doubles 6-3, 3-6, 7-6 (10/7) to ensure not only are they undefeated this week , but they have not dropped a set. Australia has now lost eight straight mixed doubles at the Hopman Cup.

On Court 1, Romania’s Victor Hanescu was unable to take his place against the United States due to injury. His 19-year-old partner Sorana Cirstea still did battle with 18-year-old American Melanie Oudin.

Oudin had lost to Stosur and Martinez Sanchez in straight sets in her opening two games, but raced to a superb start against Cirstea to take the first set 6-2. Oudin then followed that up with a 6-3 second set victory to secure the win.

Group B is still wide open and will be decided in Friday’s double-header. Great Britain holds all the aces having won its first two Ties, but faces No. 2 seeds Russia who need to win to have a chance of making the Final as well.

The wildcards are Kazakhstan who upset Russia on Wednesday night and play Germany, who is the only team unable to make Saturday’s Final from the Group.

Session 8

  • Kazakhstan 2 d Russia 1 

KAZAKHSTAN has stormed back into contention of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII by beating Russia 2-1 on Wednesday night inside the Burswood Dome.

Yaroslava Shvedova and Andrey Golubev’s upset win over Russia’s Elena Dementieva and Igor Andreev leaves Group B wide open with it to be decided in the double-header on Friday.

Great Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray remain favourites having won both Ties so far, but they play Russia who has won one and so has Kazakhstan now. Only Germany from that Group can’t make it, while Group A will be decided on Thursday morning between Spain and Australia.

On Wednesday night, Dementieva started strongly beating Shvedova 6-3, 6-1 before Golubev got over Andreev 6-4, 6-3. Kazakhstan then claimed the mixed doubles 7-6, 6-4.

Dementieva was coming off an upset loss on Monday to Germany’s Sabine Lisicki and rebounded to open up a 5-2 lead in the blink of an eye. She then took out the set 6-3 and quickly raced to a 3-0 advantage in the second.

Shvedova then got on the board by holding serve, but it didn’t halt Dementieva’s momentum as the world No. 5 closed out the match by winning the second set 6-1 to win her first match of 2010.

The 28-year-old has done it all in her career by winning Olympic gold, 14 singles and six doubles titles, and make at least a semi-final at all four Grand Slams. She’s still at the peak of her powers and was pleased with the way she bounced back from her loss to Lisicki by downing Shvedova.

She also loves the Hyundai Hopman Cup and has been a big fan of it for a long time, so is making the most of her first trip to Perth.

“It just feels so good to win the first match of the year, especially after losing my first one against Sabine. I’m just very pleased that I enjoyed my game and played a little bit better,” Dementieva said.

“I love Hopman Cup. Every time I’ve come to Australia I’ve watched this tournament. It’s one of the very interesting events to watch because this unique format. I really enjoy to play mixed doubles here, it’s so much fun to play against guys.”

While Dementieva’s match went to the script by her beating Shvedova, Golubev refused to lie down for Kazakhstan against the higher ranked Russian. Andreev became increasingly frustrated as Golubev simply played better and better to take the first set 6-4 and then finish off the match 6-3 in the second.

The world No. 133 broke Andreev’s big serve three times and played a terrific match. Golubev was also happy with how he took it up to world No. 4 Andy Murray on Monday, so he just continued that form.

“I was really nervous, he’s No. 4 and played really good tennis. I didn’t have many chances with him, but this time I played my game against Igor. I am very happy to do it,” Golubev said.

“I know he has a big serve and big forehand so I tried to put the pressure on his backhand and play many forehands. It was great.”

Kazakhstan continued their strong showing by claiming the first set tie-break in the mixed doubles and then raced out to a 3-1 lead in the second and won it 6-4 to keep Group B wide open.

Session 7

  • Great Britain 2 d Germany 1

GREAT Britain has downed Germany 2-1 to move one step closer to a Hyundai Hopman Cup Final berth inside the Burswood Dome.

German Sabine Lisicki beat Laura Robson 7-6, 6-3 to give Germany the ideal start, but then Andy Murray blitzed Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4, 6-1 in 56 minutes to force a deciding mixed doubles.

Robson and Murray starred in that, leading Britain to a 6-3, 6-2 win to remain on track for a Final spot with a win over Russia on Friday.

The German world No. 22 is a star on the rise in the women’s game and showed why by beating Elena Dementieva on Monday, but the 15-year-old Robson took it right up to her in the opening set.

The games remained right on serve through the first eight games until the young Brit stunned Lisicki to take a 5-4 lead to serve for the opening set. Lisicki broke right back, though, but Robson was still able to hold serve to send it to a tie-break.

The score was 5-5 when Robson challenged a line-call but wasn’t on song and then Lisicki capitalised to take the first set.

Lisicki asserted her dominance early in the second set to go up to a 4-1 lead, but Robson still showed her fighting spirit to win two straight games. The German still did enough, though, and won the last two to win the set 6-3.

Lisicki has now beaten both Dementieva and Robson to begin her week in Perth and is happy with how her game has come up to start 2010, but she did have a lapse in the first set against Robson.

“It’s different to play against a lefty. I haven’t played one in a while. After the first set I got used to it pretty well and I got into my game pretty good,” Lisicki said.

“I made too many easy mistakes and that’s why I got broken. I kept fighting and I knew that I could come back and I came back pretty strong. It’s still the beginning of the year and just the second match. I’m looking forward to the next matches.”

The men’s singles was the first time Murray and Kohlschreiber have played one another, and the British world No. 4 was quick to leave his imprint on the German.

Murray raced to a 4-1 lead in the first, but Kohlschreiber is a fine player himself ranked 27 in the world and hit back to even the set at 4-4. Murray proved too strong, though, breaking Kolschreiber’s serve and then holding his own to win it 6-4.

He then dominated the second set to win it 6-1 in just 17 minutes to show that he is more than ready for a massive assault on winning his first Grand Slam at the Australian Open later this month.

Murray was delighted with his serve and overall game in his second straight comfortable win in Perth. He is also enjoying the atmosphere inside the Burswood Dome.

“I served really well, didn’t give him too many chances on my serve and that was the main difference. He didn’t make too many serves and I was able to capitalise when it was on his second,” Murray said.

“I played pretty well up at the net and that’s something I have worked on a lot. There are a lot of British and Scottish flags out there so I’ve got good support. Laura has about 90 people here with her, so hopefully we can win for them.”

Robson and Murray enjoyed their experience of playing mixed doubles in their first Tie on Monday night, and came out on fire against the Germans to race to a 5-0 lead. Lisicki and Kohlschreiber fought back with three straight games, but the Brits still took the set 6-3.

The Germans got an early break in the second set to go up 2-0, but the Brits quickly won the next six games to win 6-2 with both Robson and Murray on fire.

Group B action will continue this evening with Russia’s Elena Dementieva and Igor Andreev taking on Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova and Andrey Golubev.

Tomorrow Spain plays Australia to determine the Group A Finalist, with Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt needing to beat Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo is straight sets in all three rubbers to advance.

Session 6

  • Spain 3 d Romania 0

SPAIN’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo are just one step away from Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII’s Final after another 3-0 win over Romania on Monday’s evening Session at the Burswood Dome.

Spain was coming off a 3-0 win over the United States’ Melanie Oudin and John Isner, and backed that up with Martinez Sanchez beating a slightly hobbled Sorana Cirstea 6-4, 6-3 and then Robredo beat an even more hobbled Victor Hanescu 6-3 in the first set before the Romanian retired with an adductor injury.

That means that Spain has now claimed six rubbers from six to start this year’s Cup and in order to make the Final they will need to win just one of the three against Australia on Thursday.

Martinez Sanchez was coming off a strong 6-4, 6-3 win over Oudin on Sunday, and continued on that form against Cirstea to start the women’s singles strongly.

Both women wouldn’t give an inch in some hard fought early games, but the Spaniard veteran seized control moving from a 3-2 deficit to take out the set 6-4.

The 27-year-old world No. 26 then raced to a 2-0 lead in the second set, but Cirstea hit back to level it at 2-2. Martinez Sanchez still proved too good, though, winning four of the next five games to win the second set 6-3.

Martinez Sanchez is pleased with the way she’s started her 2010 in Perth by mixing up her game and is hopeful of helping Spain to a third Hopman Cup win.

“At least I won my two first matches of the year and these matches give you confidence,” Martinez Sanchez said.

“The goal of my game is to play different – sometimes lines, sometimes come to the net and sometimes play in the back of the court to change the game. We are on the way. I would like to have that ball of course.”

Robredo had a good win over giant American John Isner on Sunday and quickly went up 3-0 against Hanescu to start the men’s singles impressively. Even though Hanescu was troubled by his injury, Robredo still played well to win the first set 6-3.

Hanescu then retired at the end of the set also handing Spain the mixed doubles win via walkover.

With Hanescu unable to play the mixed, VIP Guest Pat Cash stepped in to partner Cirstea, and the Spanish team triumphed in a pro-set eight points to four.

The victory puts Spain in the box seat to be the Finalist from Group A, but Australia still has some hope of making it if Sam Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt beat them in all three rubbers on Thursday.

In Tuesday’s day Session, Stosur and Hewitt beat the USA’s Oudin and Isner in the singles, but lost the mixed doubles to leave them an uphill battle to make the Final. To make it, they will have to beat Spain 3-0 and do it comprehensively.

Session 5

  • Australia 2 d USA 1

NO. 1 Hyundai Hopman Cup seeds Australia bounced back from a disappointing opening Tie loss with Samantha Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt dominating the USA’s Melanie Oudin and John Isner to win the Tie 2-1.

Stosur rebounded from her opening day loss to Romania’s Sorana Cirstea to get the better of 18-year-old American Oudin 6-2, 6-4. Hewitt then backed up his hard fought win over Victor Hanescu by dominating giant American John Isner 6-1, 7-5.

The Americans then fought back in the mixed doubles from a set down to win in the third set Match Tie-break 2-6, 6-1, 7-6 (10/5).

The win keeps Australia’s hopes of making Saturday’s Final alive, but it will all come down to winning the remaining Tie on Thursday against Spanish pair Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo, and then hoping other results go their way.

The USA’s chances of winning a sixth Hopman Cup is over for another year with Oudin and Isner winning just the one rubber from six so far.

Stosur started strongly with her power game in full swing against the American teenager. The Australian world No. 13 raced to a 6-2 first lead and then 4-2 in the second before a brief rally back from Oudin.

The American was broken twice in the first set, but held serve four of the five times in the second, but that one break was enough for Stosur to secure the victory 6-4.

“I definitely wanted to make sure that if I got that lead then I was able to close it out, and I played well from the first to the last point.”

Isner’s big game was on song for much of his game on Sunday against Robredo before he fell in three sets, but Hewitt didn’t let him settle by putting on a display of his very best hitting, running and overall court play to race to a 5-0 lead and then win the first set 6-1.

The second set was a much tighter affair with neither player giving an inch over the first 10 games. Hewitt then took hold of the match again, though, by breaking the American to go up 6-5 and then he won 7-5 to secure the Tie for Australia.

Australia again asserted its dominance to begin the mixed doubles in terrific fashion winning the first set 6-2. America didn’t want to lose their first six rubbers of the Cup, though, and won the second set 6-1 and then in the Match Tie-break 10 points to five.

The loss means Australia has now lost seven straight mixed doubles encounters in the Hopman Cup.

Australia will next play Spain on Thursday while the other two teams in Group A, Spain and Romania, will do battle in tonight’s Session 6.

Session 4

  • Great Britain 2 d Kazakhstan 1

GREAT Britain’s Laura Robson and Andy Murray won a thriller 2-1 over Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova and Andrey Golubev after a deciding Match Tie-break in the mixed doubles.

Shvedova came back from a set down to beat Robson 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 and then world No. 4 Murray put on a clinic to beat Golubev 6-2, 6-2. The mixed doubles went down to the wire with Britain eventually winning 12-10 in the Match Tie-break to secure the win 6-3, 5-7, 7-6 (12/10).

The women’s first set between the young star of the future and against a player near the world’s top 50 was an up and down affair that Shvedova looked likely to take out easily when leading 4-2, but then Robson found some form to win four of the last five games to take out her first ever set in Perth 6-4.

Things quickly went sour for the 15-year-old, though, with Shvedova fighting through a cold and cough she’s had since arriving in Perth, and even a blood nose during the match, to take out the second set 6-3.

The Kazaks’ experience and class then shone through in the third set as the 22-year-old took it out 6-0 to give her country the ideal start against Great Britain. Shvedova enjoyed her win despite feeling sick and the tough challenge from the 15-year-old.

“I came on the court to play and show my best tennis even if I was sick. I was trying hard and after the first set I had my nose bleed and was waiting five minutes for it to stop. Then I came back on the court and started to play,” Shvedova said.

“Last week I was very sick and I practiced a couple of times only. I had a big preparation season and was in very good shape, but after this week it was very tough to play first match and three sets against her. She played very well.

“She’s a good player and I didn’t know what to expect playing against her because I’ve never seen her play. I know she’s a lefty and also it’s tougher to play because there aren’t many players that play with their left hand.”

Shvedova’s win also allowed Golubev to relax a little in his quest to challenge world No. 4 Murray in the men’s singles.

Any hopes of an upset win by the world No. 133 Kazak was quickly dashed when Murray showed no sign of rust in his first game of the year. In fact he looked terrific in both his court movement and ball striking. He wrapped up the match in just 62 minutes and only allowed Andreev to win four games.

Andreev did try his best and had moments of brilliance with some classy backhand winners and an incredible shot behind his back as he was chasing the ball down running backwards from the net, but Murray’s class came to the fore.

The Brit changed his preparation for the Australian summer from playing in Doha to come to the Hopman Cup, and his hard training in Miami has certainly paid off based on how he looked in his first singles encounter.

“It was good. I played really well. It’s a really good atmosphere out there and I’m happy with the way I played,” Murray said.

“He made me do a lot of running, there were a lot of fun rallies in there, and it was fun. It was a perfect start to the New Year. I felt like I moved very well from the start of the match.

“I trained over in Miami for three weeks and then spent a few days at home over Christmas. It was a bit of a shock because it was 40 degrees the first day we got here and it was a lot harder than Miami.”

Murray continued that form into the mixed doubles as he partnered Robson for the first time. The Kazakhstani’s had teamed together to win the Asian Hopman Cup back in November, but the Brits still proved too good taking the first set six games to three.

Kazakhstan refused to lie down, though, and won a hard fought second set 7-5 to force the first Match Tie-break of this year’s Cup. The decider was a thriller with both teams desperate to secure their opening Tie and Great Britain prevailed 12 points to 10.

Great Britain will next play Germany on Wednesday and Russia on Friday, while Kazakhstan takes on Russia on Wednesday night and Germany on Friday.

Session 3

  • Russia 2 d Germany 1

RUSSIA bounced back from Elena Dementieva suffering an upset in the women’s singles against Germany’s Sabine Lisicki to triumph 2-1 after Igor Andreev beat Philipp Kohlschreiber in the men’s and the Russians claimed the mixed doubles.

No. 22 ranked German Lisicki played a terrific match to start the year in the women’s singles to beat the world No. 5 Dementieva 6-4, 6-1. Andreev then had to beat Kohlschreiber to keep Russia alive in the Tie, and he did so 6-3, 6-7, 6-3 to beat the German for the eighth straight time.

The Tie between the two nations looking to stake a claim for the championship came down to the mixed doubles, and the Russians won the first set 6-4 before a second set tie-break that Russia won nine points to seven.

Lisicki came out in blistering form in her first match of the year to score her first career win over Dementieva.

The 20-year-old stunned the Russian by racing out to a 5-1 lead in the first set with two breaks of serve. Dementieva isn’t one of the world’s best for nothing, though, and did fight back by winning the next three games, but Lisicki held her nerve and served it out to win it 6-4.

The German then raced to a 3-0 lead again to start the second set in brilliant fashion. Dementieva only managed to hold her serve once and had no answer to the terrific all-round game of Lisicki, who dominated the set to win it 6-1 to earn the win in 63 minutes.

Lisicki was understandably delighted with her upset win over the world No. 5 after a hard off-season of training. She was particularly happy with her return of serve.

“I am very happy with that win and I’ve been working really hard in the last few weeks. It has been very hard, but it has been fun as well,” Lisicki said.

“I’ve been working really hard and it’s getting better and better (return of serve). It’s great to have a weapon like that.”

Andreev has an unblemished record against Kohlschreiber over the pair’s first seven meetings, including twice while playing for Russia and needed to come through again in the men’s singles to send the Tie to a deciding mixed doubles encounter.

His big game was on song in the first set and immediately all of the Germans memories of the past seven losses to the Russian came flooding back. Andreev raced to a 3-0 and then 4-1 lead, before Kohlschreiber got it back to 3-5.

There was no saving the set, though, with Andreev serving it out 6-3.

The contest was much tighter in the second and remained on serve right throughout before going into the tie-break. Kohlschreiber had found more of his form, though, to earn his first break points, but wasn’t able to capitalise.

Kohlschreiber then took both points from Andreev’s first two serves in the tie-break to go up 3-0 and then 5-1. He held on to win it and force a third set.

The German had picked up his game after the first set, but he then handed a break of serve to allow Andreev a 3-1 lead after Kohlschreiber served two double faults.

The Russian capitalised to go to a 4-1 lead and then finished the match off 6-3 in the third set. Andreev was happy with his victory that saw his big forehand stand out and while he’s happy to be 8-0 against Kohlschreiber, it’s never easy.

“I’m really happy. It was really tough out there for both of us and we played some good points. I’m really happy to start the year with a victory,” Andreev said.

“Philipp is always so nice with me. You never know the kind of game style he is playing, maybe it’s a little bit more comfortable for me. I have other players that I’m down 0-10, but hopefully it continues like this with Philipp.”

In the mixed doubles, Russia won the last three games of the first set to win it 6-4 and then took control of the second to race to a 3-1 lead after Dementieva held serve for the first time. Germany fought back, though, to get it back to 4-4 and then out to a lead of 5-4 after Lisicki held serve.

It ended up going to the tie-break and Russia gained control to go up four points to one, but an Andreev double-fault helped Germany get it back to 5-5 and then win 9-7 to secure the Tie for Russia.

Russia next plays Kazakhstan on Wednesday night and then Great Britain on Friday, while Germany takes on Britain on Wednesday and Kazakhstan on Thursday.

Session 2

  • Spain 3 d USA 0

SPAIN has made the perfect start to its quest for a third Hyundai Hopman Cup title by beating the United States on Sunday inside Perth’s Burswood Dome.

After the top-seeds Australia suffered a shock loss to Romania on Saturday to begin Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII, Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo both won their singles over America’s Melanie Oudin and John Isner to assert themselves as contenders for the championship.

Martinez Sanchez began the Tie with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Oudin and then Robredo came back from a set down to beat Isner 6-7, 6-3, 7-6.

Martinez Sanchez came into her match with Oudin not feeling her best after taking time to adjust in Perth since arriving, but she showed no signs of her discomfort on court.

She is coming off the best singles year of her career to rise to a ranking of 26 in the world, and showed why by taking out the first set 6-4 over the teenage American on the back of one break of serve.

The 27-year-old Spaniard then started strongly in the second to go out to a 5-2 lead to close in on a comfortable victory, but then Oudin showed some of the fighting qualities that saw her bounce back from losing the first set of each of her matches at Wimbledon and the US Open before making the fourth round and quarter-final at the Grand Slams.

Oudin managed to reduce Martinez Sanchez’s lead to 5-4, but the Spaniard was able to serve out the match to begin 2010 in impressive fashion. The Spaniard wasn’t feeling her best before the match, but was glad she could still close it out in the second set.

“I was not OK. I threw up also, but now I’m much better,” Martinez Sanchez said.

“At the beginning of the season it’s difficult to play matches because we went two months without playing. I was winning 5-2 and you have some doubts, but at the end I could win.”

The men’s match was a contrast in styles with the veteran battler Robredo taking on the giant Isner. Both men wouldn’t give an inch in an entertaining first set that went to the tie-break and Isner got on top and finished it off with a massive 225km/hr serve to claim it.

Robredo turned his game up another level in the second set and found some chinks in the game of the big American to race out to a 5-2 lead and he took out the set 6-3.

After Robredo secured the only break of the match in the second set, the third again stayed on serve and went to the tie-break. This time Robredo prevailed to take out the match and secure the Tie for Spain.

Robredo was tired after the 2hr 28mins match with Isner, but was glad he could tough out the victory.

“I am tired after playing two-and-a-half hours for the first match of the year, it was really tough. I’m so proud because playing against a player like John, it’s so difficult to keep focus all the time,” Robredo said.

“He didn’t break me in all the match so it really made me happy. With a player like him if you have five or six chances of making a passing shot in all the match, you have to try to make nearly four or five.”

In the mixed doubles, Spain’s prowess proved too good as Martinez Sanchez and Robredo beat the Americans 6-4, 7-5 to wrap up the Tie 3-1.

Spain will next play Romania on Tuesday evening, while the United States takes on Australia on Tuesday morning.

Monday will be the first day and evening sessions of this year’s tournament with Russia’s Elena Dementieva and Igor Andreev taking on Germany’s Sabine Lisicki and Philipp Kohlschreiber, and then in the evening Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Laura Robson plays Kazakhstan’s Yaroslava Shvedova and Andrey Golubev.

Session 1

  • Romania 2 d Australia 1

ROMANIA has stunned No. 1 seeds Australia with a shock 2-1 victory to kick-off Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII inside Perth’s Burswood Dome on Saturday.

Romania’s Sorana Cirstea provided the big upset in the women’s singles to come back from a set down to stun Samantha Stosur 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Lleyton Hewitt then had to come back from a set down himself to beat Victor Hanescu 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 (2) before the Romanian pair won the mixed doubles 7-5, 6-1 to win the opening Tie of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII.

Australia’s Hyundai Hopman Cup campaign didn’t get off to the perfect start as Stosur went crashing down in the women’s singles to Cirstea.

Stosur started the match strongly and with precision sending the ball down the lines, but all that changed in the second set as Cirstea, ranked 45 in the world, took control over Australia’s top ranked female.

In the third set Stosur had a huge fight on her hands, trying to tame the Romanian whose momentum was quickly on the rise as the Australian’s shots started to go awry.

The first set showcased Stosur’s ability with the racquet and proof as to why she is ranked 13 in the world, but with the temperature rising inside the Dome the 25-year-old began to look sluggish. Cirstea won three games in a row to finish off the final set.

Nineteen-year-old Cirstea had never beaten Stosur before and didn’t have many expectations other than to enjoy it. Stosur’s serve was the biggest threat for the Romanian but she was able to break her in the second set and continue to break her serve three more times.

“It got better and better and the crowd got better and kept me motivated. She was serving unbelievable and for me one of the main focuses was to make one break,” Cirstea said.

“I just needed to make one break out there and keep my serves. At one point I sort of had nothing to lose and I’m the one coming from behind, so I just needed to enjoy it.”

In her first Hyundai Hopman Cup, Cirstea has got off to a perfect start and will go into next round’s match against Spain’s Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez with confidence.

Hewitt put Australia back on track in his first game in three months as he took two and-a-half hours to beat Hanescu in three sets.

Hewitt’s game style was sure to test the Romanian who stands at just under two metres tall. However, Hewitt would have to get around the big Romanian’s serve and it took the Australian four games to find his rhythm before getting onto the scoreboard.

Down 1-4 in the first set Hewitt fought back to be within a game before Hanescu won the final two to take the set. The crowd was pumped and Hewitt was out with motivational antics of ‘come on’, which was definitely helping the former world No. 1.

Things turned around in the second set as Hewitt stormed to a three-game lead (5-2) before dropping a game before taking the set. Hewitt’s pace and precision was getting better as the match progressed leaving the Romanian to watch the ball pass him. On a number of occasions Hewitt’s ability to read the play proved ominous with Hanescu off balance and unable to make the shots.

Heading into the third set for the second straight rubber both players were not going to give up easily. Hanescu’s win would mean the Tie was secure for Romania over the top seeds, but Hewitt was determined to make it a deciding mixed doubles.

“It’s always tough. I hadn’t played really for three months.” Hewitt said.

“The first match of the New Year was always going to be tough. Victor’s an extremely tough player and he loves dictating play from the back of the court. He was hitting these serves extremely well close to the line, so it was hard for me to get in a lot of rhythm against him but I’m glad the match went to three sets because I got better as the match went on.”

With the third set so close breaking serve was high on the cards. Hewitt broke Hanescu’s to lead 3-2 before being broken the following game himself.

Hewitt picked up the pace after Hanescu received treatment for cramp during the change of ends with the Australian trailing 4-5. He then held onto serve to take the set to a tie-breaker.

Reminiscent of his earlier playing days Hewitt was on fire and looked fitter than ever, digging in deep towards the end and taking advantage of Hanescu’s lack of mobility.

Hewitt lured Hanescu with a short wide shot then a volley to the other side of the court to leave the Romanian reeling. Desperate to get another point in the tie-break Hanescu went for the underarm serve, but still missed the service box and Hewitt capitalised to win with a lobby over the Romanian soon after.

Hanescu came out looking fine after cramping in the singles to help he and Cirstea to a 3-0 lead in the mixed doubles. Australia fought back, though, to look set to move it into a tie-break, but the Romanians kicked it up again to win the set 7-5 with Cirstea shining.

Romania went on to dominate the second set going out to a lead of 4-1 and then took it out 6-1 to score the surprise upset to start Hyundai Hopman Cup XXII on a bright note, and to stun the Aussies.