Mon, Jan 02, 2006 - Page 20 News List

US wins mixed doubles match as Hopman Cup action heats up in Perth

AP , PERTH, AUSTRALIA

Taylor Dent, center, of the US, returns a volley as his partner Lisa Raymond, left, looks on. They are facing the Serbia-Montenegro team of Ana Ivanovic, second left, and Novak Djokovic at the Hopman Cup tournament in Perth, Australia, yesterday. The US won the match 7-6, 6-2 .

PHOTO: AFP

Lisa Raymond and Taylor Dent of the US beat Serbia and Montenegro's Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic 7-6 (3), 6-2 in their deciding mixed doubles match yesterday at the Hopman Cup.

Earlier at the mixed teams tennis tournament at the Burswood Dome, Ivanovic beat Raymond in women's singles 6-2, 6-4 and Dent evened the match for the Americans with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Djokovic.

The US is the most successful country at the tournament, having won the title three times.

The big-serving Dent and doubles specialist Raymond trailed 4-2 in the opening set before coming back to win the tiebreaker.

"They got off to a fast start, but we just had to hang in there," said Raymond. "We knew we could eventually grind them down."

The Americans pulled away in the second set, breaking Ivanovic's service in the final game. Dent set up triple match point with a deft crosscourt drop volley, and the Americans won the match two points later when Djokovic put an attempted return into the net.

"This was our first time playing mixed doubles," Ivanovic said. "They just played too good. We had some chances in the first set and didn't use it. Hopefully next time it will work for us."

Meanwhile, Wayne Arthurs has pulled out of the Australian team due to a right calf muscle tear incurred during Australia's 2-1 loss to Germany.

Todd Reid will replace Arthurs, and since Reid is ranked below Arthurs in singles, Australia will remain eligible for the championship title.

Today, Argentina plays the Netherlands and Sweden plays Serbia and Montenegro. Russia, the US, Sweden and Serbia and Montenegro play in Group A while Argentina, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands are in Group B.

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