Australia is one victory away from finishing on top of Group A and claiming a place in the Mastercard Hopman Cup final after a thrilling 2-1 victory against Spain at Perth Arena.
The host pairing of Ash Barty and Matt Ebden remain unbeaten after coming from one set down to beat David Ferrer and Garbine Muguruza 3-4 (3) 4-3 4-3 (3) in a tight mixed doubles rubber.
This mixed doubles rubber had it all.
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) January 2, 2019
To reach Saturday’s final though, Australia need to beat the tournament favourites German world No.4 Alexander Zverev and world No.2 Angelique Kerber on Friday night.
Barty got Australia off to a strong start against Spain with an impressive 6-3 6-4 victory over two-time Grand Slam champion Muguruza.
RELATED: Barty too strong for former No.1 Muguruza
But Ebden fell to former world No.3, Ferrer.
Ferrer capitalised on Ebden’s 42 unforced errors to claim the match 7-6 (1) 7-5 and level the tie.
Neither Ebden nor Ferrer settled in to the opening set and after six breaks of serve they battled out a tiebreaker that the Spaniard dominated to win 7-1.
Ebden recovered to lead 4-2 in the second set but several missed volleys on crucial points cost him.
Despite some decent form to start the year, Ferrer said he had no intention of going back on his decision to retire during this year.
“I am 100 per cent I will finish my career in Madrid,” he said.
“I am not playing bad. The problem is that I can’t play more than two matches.
“My fitness is not the same; I have great pain. It’s for that my ranking is not there.”