January 5, 2018 / 5:59 PM / 9 months ago

Fiery Kerber helps Germany set up Hopman Cup final against Switzerland

(Reuters) - Angelique Kerber cruised past Daria Gavrilova before teaming up with Alexander Zverev to help Germany overcome Australia on Friday and set up an enticing Hopman Cup final against Switzerland.

Tennis - Wimbledon - London, Britain - July 8, 2017 Germany’s Angelique Kerber in action during her third round match against USA’s Shelby Rogers REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Former world number one Kerber made short work of Gavrilova, beating the Australian 6-1 6-2 to give Germany the upper hand.

Australia levelled the tie after Thanasi Kokkinakis upset world number four Zverev 5-7 7-6(4) 6-4, leaving Germany facing a must-win mixed doubles match to progress to the final.

Kokkinakis helped Australia to win the first set of the doubles but Kerber maintained her fiery dominance to steer Germany to a 1-4 4-1 4-3(3) victory.

“Angie played unbelievable in both of her matches — she’s the reason we’re in the final,” Zverev said. “I’m going to give all the credit to her. I didn’t play my best today — luckily I have an unbelievable partner.”

Earlier, Belgium whitewashed Canada 3-0 and were on course to reach the final as group winners before Germany’s victory led them to the top.

Elise Mertens beat Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 6-4 to hand Belgium the advantage and David Goffin sealed the tie for the European side with a 6-2 6-4 win over Vasek Pospisil.

Germany last won the Hopman Cup in 1995 and in Saturday’s final they will face an all-conquering Swiss team with Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic yet to lose a match in the tournament.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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