US win Hopman Cup final
After four years, US have Hopman Cup again. They have Taylor Dent and Lisa Raymond to thank for it.tennis Updated: Jan 07, 2006 15:17 IST
The United States beat the Netherlands 2-1 to claim their third Hopman Cup title in four years on Saturday.
The American mixed doubles pairing of Taylor Dent and Lisa Raymond came through a tight battle against Michaella Krajicek and Peter Wessels, winning 4-6 6-2 10-8 to clinch the tie after the singles rubbers were split.
The final set of the mixed doubles was decided by a first-to-10 super tiebreak.
Earlier, 16-year-old Krajicek gave the Netherlands a promising start when she edged veteran Raymond 6-4 7-6 before Dent took just 46 minutes to defeat Wessels 6-1 6-4.
The United States, playing in their eighth final, added to their titles in 1997, 2003 and 2004.
Krajicek struggled to dominate a player double her age, converting just two of 11 break points and making 49 unforced errors compared to 30 winners.
Both players dropped their opening service games to love, Raymond with a double-fault, before a backhand error gave Krajicek a second break to lead 3-2.
Krajicek held three more break points at 4-2, but then needed four points to close out the set.
The Dutch teenager fought off two set points at 5-6 in the second before winning the tiebreak.
Dent's serve was working to perfection as he fired 13 aces on his way to a comfortable victory over Wessels.
He crashed down three aces in the opening game, and once Wessels had held for 1-1 the American became almost unplayable.
Wessels netted a backhand to give Dent a break for 3-1, and the American struck a perfectly placed backhand pass into the corner to break for 5-1.
After closing out the opening set with three consecutive aces, Dent broke Wessels and won eight of the first nine points at the start of the second to seize control.
First Published: Jan 07, 2006 15:17 IST