France claim Hop­man Cup

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Front Page - By DENISE S CAHILL

IT took three sets and a tiebreaker, but world num­ber 18 Richard Gas­quet tri­umphed over Jack Sock from the US in the Hop­man Cup fi­nal that set the tone for the night where France picked up its sec­ond Hop­man Cup.

The fi­nal tie went down to the wire, with Coco Van­deweghe beat­ing Kristina Mlade­n­ovic 6-4 7-5 and France beat­ing the US in the mixed dou­bles 4-1 4-3.

Gas­quet looked com­fort­able in the first set, win­ning 6-3, and he had Sock frus­trated in the sec­ond set, but the Amer­i­can com­posed him­self enough to send the match in to a third set.

The de­cider went on serve un­til Sock broke Gas­quet to lead 6-5. Sock had match point in the tiebreaker, but it was not to be.

Gas­quet hit the win­ning point, fin­ish­ing the tiebreaker at 8-6.

The French­man said it was a tough match.

“I tried to fo­cus on my serve and be tough men­tally when I was match point down,” he said.

Gas­quet said the four sin­gles matches at the Hop­man Cup – three of which he won – were good prepa­ra­tion for the Aus­tralian Open later in the month.

Sock said Gas­quet, a good friend of his, played some great tennis, though he had felt “com­fort­able for a while”.

“But at match point I was too ten­ta­tive and if I had it again I would have been more ag­gres­sive,” he said.

On Fri­day night, Roger Fed­erer beat Gas­quet in two sets.

De­spite some way­ward back­hands in the first set, Fed­erer won 6-1 in just 26 min­utes be­fore claim­ing the sec­ond 6-4.

Mlade­n­ovic evened the tie, beat­ing Belinda Ben­cic 6-4 2-6 63, and the French team con­firmed its spot in the fi­nals by win­ning the mixed dou­bles 4-2 4-2.

Af­ter the fi­nal, Premier Colin Bar­nett con­firmed that the State Gov­ern­ment had com­mit­ted to the Hop­man Cup at Perth Arena through to 2022.

This year’s event at­tracted more than 103,000 spec­ta­tors, with a record-break­ing 13,785 peo­ple watch­ing the tie be­tween Switzer­land and Ger­many on Wed­nes­day night.

Hop­man Cup 2017 winners Richard Gas­quet and Kristina Mlade­n­ovic, from France.

France’s Richard Gas­quet in action in the Hop­man Cup fi­nal against Jack Sock.

Www.com­mu­ni­typix.com.au d463914

Pic­tures: An­drew Ritchie

Clock­wise from above left: Kristina Mlade­n­ovic in action; Amer­i­can Jack Sock; and Coco Van­deweghe.

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