USA thrash Czechs in Hopman Cup opener

PERTH, Australia: The United States opened their Hopman Cup campaign in style with a 3-0 win over the Czech Republic in Perth on Sunday.
The American pair of Jack Sock and Coco Vandeweghe won both their singles matches to clinch the tie, and then made it a clean sweep with victory in the mixed doubles.
After Vanderweghe beat Lucie Hradecka 6-4, 6-2 to open the tie, Sock then edged past Adam Pavlasek in three sets.
The dead mixed doubles rubber was a relaxed affair played under the novel Fast Four format and the US came from a set down to win 2-4, 4-2, 4-1.
Sock, who is just one place in the rankings below last year’s career-high of world number 22, traded winners with the inexperienced Pavlasek in the first set.
A break in the 11th game of gave Sock the advantage and the 24-year-old served out to clinch the set. However, the 75th-ranked Pavlasek broke in the second game of the second set and fought back to level the tie. An early break in the third set had Sock back on the right foot and he overcame some serving problems to win in just over two hours, 7-5, 3-6, 6-3.
Sock, who at Rio 2016 became the first player to win two tennis medals at the same Olympics, conceded it was a rusty performance to start his year. “It’s never easy after a decently long off season,” he said.
In the opening match of the tournament, the women’s singles, world number 36 Vandeweghe was far too good for Hradecka, winning in straight sets in just over an hour.
Spain stun holders Australia
Holders Australia fell to 2-1 defeat in another tie as Spaniards Feliciano Lopez and Lara Arruabarrena combined to win the tie in the hybrid mixed doubles rubber.
There was disappointment for a home crowd up up to 12,000 who had come to watch last year’s champions Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova. — AFP

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