Spain win Hopman Cup
Fernando Verdasco (Getty)
Perth - Spain upset Serbia's world number
one Novak Djokovic and team-mate Ana Ivanovic 2-1 to win their fourth
Hopman Cup in an emotional final which finished on Saturday.
The Spanish pairing of Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina
Garrigues were underdogs against the top-seeded glamour Serbian pairing
of Djokovic and Ivanovic.
However, the Spaniards came from behind to clinch the title in the deciding mixed doubles rubber.
Spanish pair's massive edge in doubles experience came to the fore as
they won in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, to deny Serbia their first title.
and Medina Garrigues were particularly effective in capitalising on
Ivanovic's shaky play at the net and even though Djokovic tried
desperately to lift his team-mate his efforts were in vain.
Medina Garrigues ranked the win up there with her doubles wins at the French Open in 2008 and 2009.
the Roland Garros doubles was exciting also, but here I didn't expect
to be in the final and then win, so I am really happy," she said.
Verdasco paid tribute to the efforts of Medina Garrigues.
"She won three singles matches and she played really good in the mixed," he said. "Today(Saturday) Anabel was unbelievable."
It was a third near miss for the Serbian pair in Perth, who played together at the event in 2006 and 2011.
their first appearance, representing Serbia and Montenegro they missed
the final on a countback of sets won during the week, and in 2011 they
qualified for the final but were then forced out by an abdominal injury
"We were unfortunate last time, this time we were beaten by a better team," Djokovic said.
Djokovic had appeared to put Serbia on track to claim the title when he won the men's singles clash with Verdasco, 6-3, 7-5.
Medina Garrigues, who battled a back problem early in the tournament,
then levelled the tie with a 6-4, 6-7 (3/7), 6-2 win in a marathon match
that went on for two hours and 38 minutes.
World number 13
Ivanovic had been in superb form in her singles matches all week and was
expected to easily account for the 50th-ranked Medina Garrigues.
started well when she broke serve early in the first set, but the
Spaniard dug deep to break back and then took the set after securing
another break in the ninth game.
An unhappy Ivanovic called for
the trainer early in the second set, but put aside any discomfort to
level the match, before the Spaniard steadied in the third set as
Ivanovic continued to make too many unforced errors.
30-year-old Medina Garrigues, who collapsed to the court immediately
after her singles win, said it was the best victory of her career.