Spain reach Hopman Cup final
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:58
The Spanish pairing of Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez and Tommy Robredo maintained their unbeaten record in the tournament with straight-set victories over Sam Stosur and Lleyton Hewitt.
After winning their opening two ties, the number four seeds needed only to claim a single set against the hosts, but won the group emphatically and rounded off with a 6-3 3-6 10-7 mixed doubles success.
Martinez Sanchez is yet to drop a set at the tournament and it was her exceptional touch at the net that proved too much for world number 13 Stosur – 6-4 6-1.
Robredo, who teamed up with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario to win the Hopman Cup in 2002, then posted a 6-2 6-4 win over Hewitt, who was troubled by a back injury.
The former world number one is only returning after a three-month lay-off in order to be fully fit for the Australian Open later this month, but twice had to call for the trainer after he suffered a back spasm early on.
Spain, the two-time winners, will now meet the winner of Group B in Saturday’s final.
Great Britain top that group and will qualify for a Hopman Cup final for the first time if they defeat Russia in tomorrow’s final round-robin fixtures.
In Thursday’s other tie in Group A, the United States were given a walkover win against Romania after Victor Hanescu failed to recover from his groin problem.
The Romanian suffered the injury during his match with Robredo on Tuesday night when he retired after just one set and is in some doubt to take his place at the Australian Open which begins on January 18.