UPDATE: Canada has given itself the best possible chance of qualifying for Saturday’s Hopman Cup final, thanks in part to Flavia Pennetta’s injury and impressive play from Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic.
The Canadian pair won their respective singles matches before clinching a dead mixed doubles rubber over Australian substitute player Bojana Bobusic and Italian Andreas Seppi 6-1 6-4.
Bouchard won the first 11 points of her match before world No.31 Pennetta could even stop the flow but it was clear early on something was not right as her usual flat forehand lacked pace and control.
The Italian called for an injury timeout to have her wrist heavily strapped but she would last only one game further, calling an end to the match while trailing 4-0.
“I don’t know. This wrist is crazy. It’s coming, some pain, from nothing,” Pennetta said. “I think it was what I had to do, to try and go on the court and at least I was thinking maybe with some warm up it will get better but it was not like this.
“I will have some treatment, some reforming and try to, maybe don’t play for one or two days to help because I think it’s more something, inflammation, it’s not like a tear or ligament, I mean I had all my ligament already operated, so hope it’s nothing worse.”
The win means Bouchard finishes the group stage with two wins from three singles matches.
“I’ve had two good matches here this week and you know, I’m disappointed that I couldn’t play out a full match you know, but I hope Flavia gets better really soon,” Bouchard said.
“I feel good and I’m happy to start the year out playing well and kind of finishing on a high note from last year so I still you know, feel like I’m in the same groove and um I have Sydney next week and then the Open so, a lot of fun times to look forward to.”
Raonic, meanwhile, atoned for a shock loss to Grzegorz Panfil with a straight sets 6-2 6-4 win over the winless Andreas Seppi.
The loss extended Seppi’s winless streak in singles at the Hopman Cup to six after failing to get on the board at last year’s event and falling to none from three in the 2013-14 event.
“It’s much better, I think it’s difference between day and night pretty much. This one I tried to take initiative and the other one I just let him do things and I didn’t play the way, my game,” Raonic said.
Canada are still a chance at reaching Saturday’s decider but must rely on Australia beating Poland 3-0.
“I like to watch Bernie (Tomic) in general, so I’ll be watching for that reason as well and um, to see also how the other guy handles it (Panfil),” Raonic said.
“It’s a very different situation for him. He won when he was facing me, it’s going to be a very different situation, so you try to watch as much as you can and learn.”