He­witt wins over crowd

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News -

NICK Kyr­gios (20) and Daria Gavrilova (21) may have walked away with vic­tory but Lley­ton He­witt was the crowd favourite at Perth Arena dur­ing the Aus­tralians’ open­ing Hop­man Cup matches on Sun­day.

Hop­man Cup debu­tant Jiri Ve­sely (22) from the Czech Repub­lic stormed to a 4-0 lead in the first set be­fore 34-year-old He­witt started his come­back, win­ning the next two games to even­tu­ally go down 6-3.

The sec­ond set went on serve forc­ing a tiebreak that He­witt won con­vinc­ingly.

The Perth crowd was well and truly be­hind the eight-time Hop­man Cup player and 2003 fi­nal­ist but a vic­to­ri­ous last hur­rah at the Perth Arena was not meant to be.

He went down 6-3 7-6 6-4 against the left handed, 198cm Czech.

“I got bet­ter as the match went on… I haven’t played com­pe­ti­tion sin­gles since the US Open,” He­witt said.

“He’s (Jiri) a qual­ity player, he’s got a big first and sec­ond serve.”

He­witt’s Aus­tralia Gold part­ner Jarmila Wolfe (28) lost 7-5 6-3 against Karolina Pliskova (23) and the Aus­tralian duo went down 6-2 7-5 in the mixed dou­bles.

Ear­lier in the day, Kyr­gios took 18-year-old Ger­man Alexan­der Zverev to three sets in 35C heat.

The first set started on serve un­til Zverev, whose serve rarely dropped be­low 210km/h, broke the Aus­tralian’s serve to lead 5-3, even­tu­ally tak­ing the first set 6-4.

Kyr­gios dom­i­nated the sec­ond set 6-1 and broke Zverev’s serve to be 5-3 in the third, even­tu­ally win­ning 6-4.

“It’s good to start the year with a win,” Kyr­gios said.

“We’ve both got big serves so that (a quick game) was al­ways go­ing to hap­pen.”

Kyr­gios said he was look­ing for­ward to play­ing Great Bri­tain’s Andy Mur­ray on Wed­nes­day night.

Gavrilova got Aus­tralia Green off to a win­ning start be­fore the men’s match, beat­ing Sabine Lisicki (26) 6-2 6-2.

The Aus­tralia duo made it a clean sweep beat­ing the Ger­mans 6-3 4-6 10-7 in the mixed dou­bles.

Aus­tralian Jarmila Wolfe and Ger­man Alexan­der Zverev.

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d448210

Lley­ton He­witt in ac­tion at the Hop­man Cup against the Czech Repub­lic.

Nick Kyr­gios won his match against Ger­man Alexan­der Zverev.

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