Perth | Aussies power past Canada
Only one tie was played on New Year’s Eve and it saw the hosts Australia dismantle the Canadians at the Perth Arena 2-1.
Both Daria Gavrilova and Thanasi Kokkinakis won their singles matches to give the home team a perfect start to its mixed team Hopman Cup campaign.
I felt really rusty out there and I didn't quite get into the match in the beginning, but I was happy to feel into the match in the second. I know I have a lot of things to work on. I barely played any matches the last six months of the past year, it's been a long time without a lot of matches. Daria Gavrilova
Gavrilova claimed a 6-1 6-4 win over the still struggling Eugenie Bouchard before Kokkinakis wrapped up the Group A tie for Australia by beating world No. 108 Vasek Pospisil 6-4 3-6 6-3 in the men’s singles rubber.
The Canadian team responded in the mixed doubles winning 4-3(1) 4-3(4) in the Fast4 format for their consolation point.
Gavrilova was aggressive from the start and never allowed Bouchard to settle as she took full advantage of the Canadian’s lack of confidence. Bouchard has been ranked as high as fifth in the world but has slipped to 83rd as she struggles to regain the sort of form she then had.
Bouchard was allowed back into the match when Gavrilova struck a series of double faults but the Aussie recovered to close out the first rubber in 78-minutes.
“I felt really rusty out there and I didn’t quite get into the match in the beginning, but I was happy to feel into the match in the second,” she said. “I know I have a lot of things to work on.
“I barely played any matches the last six months of the past year, it’s been a long time without a lot of matches.
“It’s always about trying to play better for the future, I changed my team in the off season and I have been working on a lot of different things. It’s definitely a long-term look.”
Ranked 209th in the world, the 21-year-old Kokkinakis showcased some of his undoubted potential to beat the 108th-ranked Pospisil, in what was his first match since the US Open having suffered a series of injuries, including a shoulder problem.
“I missed my last two years with injury,” he said. “It’s been pretty shattering, but I’m excited to be back on Australia’s hard courts.
“It’s a good start and hopefully I can stay healthy this year – it’s my only goal.”
Australia beat Canada 2-1
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) bt Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) 6-1 6-4
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) bt Vasek Pospisil (CAN) 6-4 3-6 6-3
Bouchard & Pospisil (CAN) bt Gavrilova & Kokkinakis (AUS) 4-3 (1) 4-3 (4)