PERTH (Reuters) - Spain secured a surprise victory in the Hopman Cup with a comeback triumph against Serbia in the final of the mixed teams event in Perth on Saturday.
Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues beat the more fancied pairing of Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic 6-4 7-5 in the deciding mixed doubles to secure a 2-1 win.
World No.1 Djokovic had already defeated Verdasco 6-3 7-5 in the opening singles before Medina Garrigues survived a tense clash against Ivanovic, 6-4 6-7 6-2.
“Thanks to Fernando because without him, the doubles would have been impossible,” Medina Garrigues said.
Verdasco led Djokovic 3-0 in the second set of their singles rubber before being overhauled. “It’s difficult to play against a player like him,” Djokovic said. “He’s very aggressive and serves over 200kmh.”
Djokovic is chasing his third successive Australian Open at Melbourne Park from January 14.
He suffered a shock loss to Australia’s Bernard Tomic during the round robin stage of the Hopman Cup but recovered with back-to-back singles wins against Andreas Seppi and Verdasco.
Writing by Will Swanton in Brisbane; editing by Stephen Wood