Murray leads Brits to Hopman Cup final
PERTH: Andy Murray maintained his hot start to the year as he led Britain into the final of the Hopman Cup with a 2-1 victory over Russia yesterday.
The Scot put on a masterful display to crush Igor Andreev 6-1 6-0 after Murray’s teammate Laura Robson had been beaten 6-4 6-0 by Elena Dementieva.
Murray then joined his 15year-old partner to beat the Russians 6-4 6-7 10-6 in the deciding mixed doubles to ensure Britain finished top of Group B in the mixed team event and set up a final against Spain on Saturday.
“I have to say thanks to Laura because she played great,” Murray said. “In the mixed, the guy is supposed to try to dominate and help the girl but every time I tried that we lost the point, so I left it to her after that.”
Britain, Russia and Kazakhstan all began the day with hopes of reaching the final but of all the convoluted eventualities, the only certainty was that if Britain beat Russia they would be through.
Former junior Wimbledon champion Robson impressed against world number five Dementieva but once the Russian had taken the first set, she cruised through the second to put Russia ahead.
Murray had played superbly in his opening two round-robin matches, but his performance against world number 35 Andreev was even more impressive.
Murray hammered serves, took his retur ns early and began to try out a few shots, romping through the first set and then blitzing Andreev in the second.
“I was very lucky because I was one of the spectators but I didn’t have to pay for the ticket,” Andreev joked when asked about the quality of Murray’s play.
The drama was saved for the deciding mixed doubles as Britain led 6-4 4-1 before Russia fought back to win the second set and force a match tiebreak.
But the Brits held their nerve to secure a meeting with Spain.
In the day’s other group match, Kazakhstan claimed a well-deserved victory over Germany, who finished bottom of the standings.
Yaroslava Shvedova put Kazakhstan ahead with a 6-4 7-6 victory over Sabine Lisicki before Andrey Golubev hammered 27th-ranked Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-2 6-1. – Reuters