The United States has started with a win in its first tie, while South Africa has suffered its second loss in two days.
American duo Venus Williams and John Isner combined to defeat South African pair Kevin Anderson and Chanelle Scheepers 6-3 6-2 to win the live mixed doubles rubber.
A single break in the first set was complemented by a pair of breaks in the second as the second-seeded Americans kept their hopes of making it through to the final alive.
For South Africa, it was another tough day at the office and the second live mixed doubles rubber they’ve lost. After leading Spain 1-0 on Saturday, they succumbed to a 2-1 loss. Today, they started behind, but levelled before falling in the mixed.
The United States team’s next match is on Tuesday night against seventh seeds France, while South Africa have to wait until Friday’s day session for redemption when they take on France.
In tonight’s night session, fourth seeds Spain meet France.
Anderson levels tie with win over Isner
By Dave Lindsay
Kevin Anderson has produced another strong serving performance to defeat the United State’s John Isner in straight sets and send South Africa into a live mixed doubles tie.
In a match where service break opportunities were like gold, Anderson held his nerve through two tiebreaks to take out the match, 7-6(0) 7-6(5).
The pair met twice in 2012 with four of the five sets played going to tiebreaks and the victories shared.
Having defeated Spain’s Fernando Verdasco yesterday, Anderson appeared in better touch than Isner who only arrived in Perth yesterday, and had the better of the few rallies that lasted longer than a handful of strokes.
The first set was a serving exhibition with only one break opportunity going the way of the American and a tiebreak appeared inevitable throughout.
It was Anderson who settled quickly in the tiebreak taking the first point against the serve of Isner and he never looked back in a 7-0 whitewash to claim the set in 50 minutes.
The second set started in the same fashion as the first with the serve dominant until the sixth game when the South African capitalised on a rare Isner double fault to race to a 0-40 lead.
However, the giant American and Hyundai Hopman Cup champion with Bethanie Mattek-Sands in 2011, found a trio of big serves when he needed them most to save the break points and keep the set on serve.
Isner also struggled through his next three service games as his unforced error count increased and it was only some timely aces that forced the second set to another tiebreak.
Once again Anderson took an early lead in the tiebreak claiming four of the first five points as his more consistent ground strokes enabled him to win the longer rallies.
Isner was more competitive in the second set tiebreak but was unable to claim a point against the serve of Anderson and the South African was able to close out the tie with the first match point on his serve.
Earlier in the session veteran American Venus Williams had to come from a set down against Chanelle Scheepers, eventually claiming a 4-6 6-2 6-3 victory.
The tie now heads into a live mixed doubles rubber.