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