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Czech Republic wins Hopman Cup

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Originally published on: 07/01/12 11:32

In the women’s match, that started at 3pm local time,Petra Kvitova defeated Marion Bartoli 7-5 6-1 in one hour and 31 minutes.

The first set was tightly fought with the Czech playing aggressive attacking tennis and although it was Bartoli who got the first break in the seventh game, Kvitova broke in the tenth and again in the final game. The 21 year old took the first set in just under an hour with a trademark running forehand.

The second set was over in 32 minutes with Bartoli broken in her first service game. She could not match Kvitova in terms of either her serve or court coverage.  Kvitova played some deft tennis, mixing up her powerful groundstrokes with some drop volleys. One of the best points of the second set was in the fourth game with Bartoli serving at 30 – 30. Bartoli raced after Kvitova’s drop shot, retrieved the ball and although the 6” Czech pushed the lob long, Bartoli showed how fast she can move racing to the back of the court.

With the Czechs taking the lead through Kvitova, it was up to Tomas Berdych to win his rubber in front of the 8365 spectators to take the tie outright or for Richard Gasquet to level it and take it to a mixed doubles decider. Tomas Berdych defeated Gasquet 7-6(0) 6-4

The Frenchman saved two set points when he was serving at 4-5 in the first set and the set went to a tiebreak, with Berdych powering through to take it 7-0. The Czech needed only one match point to take the second set 6-4 and wrap up the match in one hour and 34 minutes. It was fitting perhaps that the match ended with an ace.

This is the second time that the Czech Republic has been triumphant in Hopman Cup, the last time was in 1994 when Jana Novotna and Petr Korda defeated the German team of Anke Huber and Bernd Karbacher.

For the French team of Bartoli and Gasquet who have both played so well this week it was a case of 18th time unlucky. It is perhaps surprising that although the French have been represented here 18 times they have yet to get their name etched on the Hopman Cup.

So the eight days of the XX1V Hopman Cup come to a close. 72 776 spectators have packed into the Burswood Dome to see some of the best tennis action this event has ever thrown up. It seems an age since France defeated China in the opening match on New Year’s Eve and then we all got dressed up for the Hopman Cup New Year’s Eve Ball.

We’ve had a hoot and we hope to return next year to the new home of Hopman Cup, the 14 000 seater Perth Arena. The retractable roof and the court surface of the new venue will replicate the conditions of Melbourne Park so the perceived wisdom is that the tournament will have the ability to attract an even greater range of players. That may well be the case, but even as it is, hosted at the Burswood Dome, it has a glittering record of attendees and no more deserving winners of those beautiful diamond encrusted tennis balls than the Czech Republic represented so magnificently in 2012 by World No. 2 Petra Kvitova and World No. 7 Tomas Berdych.

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