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The United States had to win all three of their matches against the Czech Republic to reach the final of the Hopman Cup

USA in Hopman Cup Final

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Originally published on 08/01/15

Williams fought like a tiger to beat Lucie Safarova in the opening encounter and after John Isner had beaten Adam Pavlasek the Americans joined forces to claim the mixed doubles. The last match was a winner-takes-all encounter and it was Williams and Isner who kept alive the Americans’ hopes of winning the Hopman Cup for a seventh time.

Williams defeated Safarova 6-3 6-7 (1) 7-6 (6) in a match that lasted two and a half hours and contained some entertaining tennis. Safarova served for the match at 6-5 in the decider but Williams fought back to win. Isner made light work of Pavlasek, winning 7-6 6-4, and the Americans were too strong in the mixed doubles, which they won 6-3 6-3 in 54 minutes.

The United States, the Czechs and Canada all finished the group with two wins apiece, but the Americans knew they would go through if they won  all three of their matches .The mathematicians had calculators at the ready in case of a further countback.

Neither Isner nor Serena are strangers to winning the Hopman Cup. Isner won the title in 2011 when he partnered Bethanie Mattek-Sands.  Williams has won the title twice before. In 2008 she partnered Mardy Fish and in 2003 she played with James Blake as the Americans defeated the Australian pair of Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik.

Other successful USA pairings are James Blake and Lindsay Davenport (2004),  Taylor Dent and Lisa Raymond (2006) and Justin Gimelstob and Chanda Rubin (1997)

Group B will be decided on Friday. Three nations are still in with a chance of qualifying –  Poland, France and Britain.

Andy Murray and Heather Watson will take on the Australians Marinko Matosevic and Casey Dellacqua.  Home pride will be at stake for the Australians, who have yet to win a tie.

However, if Poland beat France then Agnieszka Radwanska and Jerzy Janowicz  will be Group B winners, having won all of their ties.  Poland v France is the afternoon match, so the British pair will know if their tie matters when they go on court for Friday’s evening session.

How Group A Finished:

 

                                    Ties won            Matches won

USA                              2                        7

Czech Republic            2                        5

Canada                         2                        5

Italy                               0                        1

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The United States had to win all three of their matches against the Czech Republic to reach the final of the Hopman Cup
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