Australia claim first Hopman title in 17 years with defeat of Ukraine

Nick Kyrgios and Daris Gavrilova guided hosts Australia to a first Hopman Cup title in 17 years on Saturday, 2-0 over Ukraine in the final of the mixed team event.

Gavrilova, who saved a match point the night before in a group win over France which sent the Aussie team into the weekend final, claimed a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) win over Elina Svitolina which got the match going for the Australia Green pair.

Kyrgios then followd with an ace barrage to complete the win as he beat Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-3, 6-4 with the Ukrainian driving a forehand into the net on match point after less than one hour.

The only other time Australia had won the title was in 1999 through Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic. Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik qualified for the 1993 final but could not compete as Hewitt came down with chicken pox.

Australia was playing in a fourth final while Ukraine have lost both of their finals.

"It was a memorable week, I was excited to polay," Kyrgios said. "This is one of my favourite events. It lived up to everything tonight."

Gavrilova, a 21-year-old from Russia who only received an Australian passport in recent weeks, took the opening set from good friend Svitolina but got into trouble on multiple occasions in the second.

The 36th-ranked Gavrilova was unable to take advantage of breaks for 4-3, and 5-4 in the set and suddenly found herself facing an intimidating five set points trailing 6-1 in the tiebreak.

But the home player erupted into form at the right moment, saving all five. She then watched as Svitolina landed a return long to the corner to give away a match point and took advantage on the next point, closing out the win with an untouchable volley.

It was the first singles loss of the week for Svitolina, a top 20 WTA player.

"It's such a great feeling to finally win in singles. I am really happy," Gavrilova said after dropping her last two matches.

"When I was down in the 1-6 in the tiebreaker I told myself that we were probably going to play a thid set, so just be relaxed and play freely. It obviously helped."

Last update: Sat, 09/01/2016 - 14:11
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