Spain are the Hyundai Hopman Cup 2013 champions in the event’s 25th year after defeating Serbia 2-1 in the final at the Perth Arena.
In front of 12,518 people, the Spanish duo of Anabel Medina Garrigues and Fernando Verdasco combined to defeat Ana Ivanovic and world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-5 in the mixed doubles to clinch the title. Spain has now won the Hopman Cup four times, they were also champions in 2010, 2002 and 1990.
For Medina Garrigues, there was elation at winning the title as a back injury threatened her tournament.
“It’s one of the best [wins], well I win a Roland Garros doubles it was really exciting also, but here I did not expect to get in the final and then win so I’m really happy,” said Medina Garrigues who played a key role in Spain’s victory, a sentiment shared by her on-court partner.
“I think she [played] a big part of this Hopman Cup,” said Verdasco. “She won three singles matches, unbelievable important and she play really good mixed to help me. I cannot win alone of course and like she is a really good doubles player and you can see it out there in the mixed.
“It was an unbelievable week. I enjoyed it a lot to play with her and an amazing doubles win … and one of the greatest moments of my career winning here today.”
The night started well for Serbia when Djokovic defeated Verdasco 6-4 7-5 to give Serbia the lead.
But in a tight women’s singles match, Medina Garrigues surprised the in-form Ivanovic 6-4 6-7(3) 6-2 to level the tie at 1-1. Medina Garrigues was at her defensive best, chasing down everything and forcing Ivanovic to work for every point.
The victory set up a tense mixed doubles match that would decide the winner of the mixed doubles teams event.
Spain drew first blood, breaking the Serbian duo in the third game only to be broken back the next game. But there was more to come – another two breaks for Spain and one for Serbia came as the Spaniards took the first set 6-4.
Both teams tightened their play in the second set but it was the Spaniards who looked the more convincing, their experience telling as they combined to repel the surging Serbians.
Chances to break in the second set were presented to each team, but the only break for the set came in the 11th game when the Spaniards found the combination to Ivanovic’s serve.
Medina Garrigues coolly served out the match to hand Spain the title. The win was extra sweet for her as she was part of the losing Spanish team in 2007.
“I’m really happy that I won with Fernando,” said Medina Garrigues after the match. “Without him this doubles was going to be almost impossible.”
“I think she won both balls,” joked Verdasco. “She won almost all her matches in singles and all the mixed doubles this year. You’re the winner. I don’t know what I’m doing here. It was absolutely a pleasure for me to play with her.”
The final was a fitting finale to a week that has seen 104,464 people attend the event at the new Perth Arena.