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Hopman Cup: Serena Williams In Play

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Serena Williams and Lucie Safarova are currently representing the USA and the Czech Republic in this year's Hopman Cup. The ladies are current playing in the fifth session and tied at one set each. The first set went to Serena Williams who demolished Safarova 6-0. Safarova obviously awakened and found her game, defeating Serena 6-2. They are currently in the third on serve with Safarova leading 2-1 as of 9:52 p.m. eastern time.

Serena Williams arrived late, but arrival of Grand Slam queen Serena Williams at Perth’s Hyundai Hopman Cup has enabled the USA to go into their clash with the Czech Republic with added confidence.

The last match of 2007 sees the world No. 7 take on rising star Lucie Safarova, who has halved her ranking to 23 in the year since she made her Hyundai Hopman Cup debut.

The USA is seeded No. 2 for this year’s event, behind hot favourites Serbia and goes into the match with one victory to their credit, helped by substitute American Meghann Shaughnessy, who paired with Mardy Fish to beat India on Saturday.

Williams, a winner of the Hyundai Hopman Cup with James Blake five years ago, arrived in Perth overnight and had a hit on the practice court on Sunday afternoon after the long flight from Florida.

She has assured Tournament Director Paul McNamee that she had shrugged off a brief illness and her combination with Fish – who played extremely well in his 6-2, 6-4 win over India’s Rohan Bopanna in the opening match.

The third seeded Czechs were upset by Australia on Saturday night, when Alicia Molik and debutant Peter Luczak combined brilliantly in the doubles to down Safarova and her boyfriend, the 14th ranked Tomas Berdych.

The Czechs conceded that they need to do a little work on their doubles, having not won a rubber at last summer’s Hyundai Hopman Cup, with Berdych admitting it wasn’t his strong point.

“I didn’t help Lucie enough to win today,” he said. “I think the male partner needs to do more in the mixed, but that’s not my style, especially when we play normal tennis. I have to improve.”

Berdych, a winner of three singles titles on the men’s Tour, has secured his place in the upper echelons of world rankings, but has his sights set on a top-10 spot in the coming 2008 year.

His American opponent, Fish, has spent another year recovering from injury, this time damaging ankle ligaments in a friendly burst of grid iron.

However, he finished the year ranked at 39 and a strong showing against Berdych will boost his confidence for the year ahead.

The session begins at 10:30am on Monday.

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Source -- Hopman Cup Official site

Posted by Shelia

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