Hopman joy for Slovaks
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:12
Cibulkova dispatched Dinara Safina in the tie’s first match and Hrbaty sealed a convincing triumph when he won a three-set thriller against former world number one Marat Safin, meaning there was no need to play the mixed doubles.
In a power-packed six hours of tennis, the Slovaks survived against higher-ranked opponents after both teams had gone into the final undefeated from their three round-robin matches.
Cibulkova lost the first set against world number three Safina on a tie break, but responded to take the next two 6-1 6-4 and remain unbeaten in four singles matches and two doubles this week.
Safina’s brother Safin gave the Russians hope when he took the first set against Hrbaty 7-6 (7/5), but went down 7-5 in the second and then missed out in the tie break in the final set, losing 7/3.
The Slovaks shared a winner’s prize of A$250,000, plus two diamond-encrusted tennis balls.