Hosts Australia crash out of Hopman Cup

Australia's Hopman Cup 16-year drought is set to continue after they went down 2-1 to Italy in Perth.

    Hosts Australia crash out of Hopman Cup
    Flavia Pennetta of Italy serves against Samantha Stosur of Australia during their singles match [AFP]

    Australia's Bernard Tomic and Sam Stosur lost the mixed doubles in straight sets 6-3 6-4 as Australia tumbled out of the competition.

    World number 18, Sam Stosur, went down to Italy's Flavia Pennetta 6-4 6-4 on Tuesday in the women's singles.

    I know I was feeling a bit tired out there, but it’s only going to make me stronger for the big one in a few weeks.

    Bernard Tomic, Australian tennis player

    Bernard Tomic pulled Australia back into the tie, beating Andreas Seppi two sets to one to level the match-up.

    On Tuesday Bernard Tomic came from behind to secure a 4-6 6-3 6-2 win over Italy’s Andreas Seppi in an energy-sapping display that left the young Australian jaded going into the doubles.

    Tomic was feeling the effects of a heavy training load after practising for five hours on Monday and a further two hours before he took on Seppi.

    But the 21-year-old dug into his reserves to turn the tables, with his win levelling the tie at 1-1 after Stosur's earlier loss to Pennetta.

    Italy's victory ensured Australia’s title drought would extend to a 16th year.

    Tomic, who lost his opening Hopman Cup match in straight sets to Canada’s Milos Raonic, told the Hopman Cup website his heavy training load was designed to get him in the best possible shape ahead of the Australian Open.

    “This week is a training week for me. I’m playing a little bit tired, but who cares,” said Tomic.

    “I know I was feeling a bit tired out there, but it’s only going to make me stronger for the big one in a few weeks.”

    Stosur said she was frustrated but not despondent after slumping to consecutive singles defeats.

    The 2011 US Open champion, who suffered a three-sets loss to Eugenie Bouchard on Saturday, committed 26 unforced errors against Pennetta.

    Stosur has famously struggled to find form during the home tennis summer in recent years, but says there’s no need to panic just yet ahead of January’s Australian Open.

    “It’s disappointing not to get a win again. But I thought I played some good tennis,” Stosur said.

    “Every year I’ve managed to play well at some point. It’s not like you start not so well and then your whole year is shot. Time on court is the most important thing at the moment and that’s why this tournament is so great.

    “I’m still pretty happy with the way I’m hitting the ball. There’s room for improvement, but I don’t think it’s the worst start I’ve ever had.”

    Stosur has now lost all five of her meetings with Pennetta, who is ranked 13 places behind the world No.18 Australian.

    “We always have a good fight and then I always win,” Pennetta said.

    Australia will finish their Hopman Cup campaign on Thursday when they take on Poland.


    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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