Sat, Jan 05, 2013 - Page 20 News List

Serbia defeat Germany in Perth

AP, PERTH, Australia

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France stretches for a return ball against South Africa’s Kevin Anderson at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, yesterday.

Photo: AFP

Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic led Serbia into the Hopman Cup final, winning their singles matches yesterday over Germany. Djokovic beat Tommy Haas 6-2, 6-0, while Ivanovic defeated Tatjana Malek 6-0, 6-1.

The Serbs will face Spain in today’s final.

Djokovic took a 4-0 lead in the first set, but was then broken by Haas in the fifth game. The German held his serve for the only time in the match in the next game.

Haas then had three break points when trailing 2-0 in the second set but he could not convert.

Earlier, South Africa beat France 2-1 when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to retire in the deciding mixed doubles match with a left hamstring injury. The Frenchman was later forced to withdraw from next week’s Sydney International.

Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa beat Mathilde Johansson 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 before Tsonga defeated Kevin Anderson 7-6 (7/4), 7-6 (7/3), including winning the final five points of the first-set tiebreaker.

During the singles match, Tsonga injured his leg while stretching for a shot.

Scheepers and Anderson had won the first set of the mixed doubles 6-3 and were trailing 1-2 and on serve in the second when Tsonga indicated that he could not continue.

Neither team had a chance of advancing to the final.

Tsonga said he was unsure of the exact nature of his injury, but his retirement was a precaution to ensure he does not worsen the problem before the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Jan. 14.

In the women’s singles, both players struggled to find their best form or consistency, with the pair sharing 111 unforced errors and 33 break points.

At the end of the two hour, 50 minute match which included 15 breaks of serve, Johansson finally gave her opponent a crucial breakthrough by dropping serve with her 12th double-fault to leave Scheepers serving for victory.

“I think we both played well within stages of the match,” Scheepers said.

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