Tennis

Spain beats Serbia, wins Hopman Cup

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PERTH, Australia (AP)

Spain defeated Serbia 2-1 to win the Hopman Cup for the fourth time on Saturday.

Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues won the deciding mixed doubles 6-4, 7-5 against Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic.

Djokovic took the first match for Serbia by overcoming a strong challenge from Verdasco 6-3, 7-5. Medina Garrigues evened it by outlasting Ivanovic 6-4, 6-7 (3), 6-2.

Serbia had been seeking its first title in Perth.

Djokovic broke back in the fifth game of the second set when Verdasco made a backhand error. Although he failed to convert two more break points at 4-4, he got a vital break to lead 6-5 when Verdasco netted a forehand.

''It's difficult to play against any player if he hits the winners from both sides and is very aggressive,'' Djokovic said. ''He was serving at over 200 kph consistently well and it was really hard for me to come back to the match.''

Ivanovic looked nervous and struggled with her first serve and at point appeared to be suffering from an illness.

She was 2-0 up but Medina Garrigues immediately broke back and tied it 4-4 before serving out the set at love with an ace.

Ivanovic led 2-0 again in the second set but called for the trainer and was given medication. She took a 5-2 lead, failed to serve out the set at 5-3 and eventually won the tiebreaker.

In the final set, Medina Garrigues led 2-0 when Ivanovic double-faulted and went on to claim victory when Ivanovic netted a backhand on break point at 5-2.

That forced the deciding mixed doubles match.

''I was dreaming all of my career of winning against a great player in a big stadium. I'm 30 years old and finally I take it, so I'm really happy,'' Medina Garrigues said. ''The crowd is like a Grand Slam and they were supporting me because they wanted a live mixed doubles.''

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