Tennis: Slovakia beats US at Hopman Cup

PERTH, Australia — Dominik Hrbaty upset James Blake 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (1) Monday to lead Slovakia to victory over the defending champion United States at the Hopman Cup.

Hrbaty, coming back from an elbow injury that saw his ranking slide to No. 250, gave Slovakia a winning 2-0 edge after teammate Dominika Cibulkova beat Meghann Shaughnessy 6-2, 6-2 in the opening women’s singles match.

Hrbaty and Cibulkova defeated Shaughnessy and Blake 6-4, 7-6 (4) in mixed doubles to complete a sweep.

Blake, ranked 10th, went into the match with a 2-1 edge against Hrbaty, including a win at the Beijing Olympics. But Hrbaty’s sole previous victory over Blake came in the 2005 Hopman Cup in straight sets.

Earlier, Sabine Lisicki won her opening singles match and then joined German teammate Nicolas Kiefer to beat Australia in mixed doubles and clinch a 2-1 victory.

Lisicki defeated Casey Dellacqua 4-6, 6-2, 7-5 and gave Germany a 1-0 lead. Lleyton Hewitt of Australia returned from a five-month injury layoff to beat Kiefer 6-7 (6), 6-3, 6-2 and even the match.

The German pair then beat Dellacqua and Hewitt 6-7 (2), 6-3 and 10-5 in the match tiebreaker in the deciding mixed doubles.

Former No. 1 Hewitt hasn’t played since losing to Rafael Nadal at the Olympics. Hewitt was sidelined by a chronic hip injury after Beijing and later had surgery.

“It’s great to be back,” Hewitt said. “It feels good, the hip feels strong. I’ve done everything in my power to get as close to 100 percent for the Australian summer and it’s a matter of just trying to come out here now and play a lot of matches.”

Hewitt said he had trouble early Monday getting his rhythm.

“He’s (Kiefer) a great all-court player, and it was hard to get a read,” Hewitt said. “It was a matter of me hanging in there and weathering the storm.”

Dellacqua, playing her first match since being sidelined last September by a shoulder injury, served for the match at 5-4 in the third but lost 12 of the last 13 points and had 33 unforced errors overall.

The U.S., Australia, Germany and Slovakia are playing in Group A, while Russia, France, Italy and Taiwan are in Group B. The winners of each group play in the final Friday.

Talk to us

More in Sports

Marysville Pilchuck’s Christian Van Natta lifts the ball in the air to celebrate a turnover during the game against Marysville Getchell on Friday, Sept. 16, 2022 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22

Prep football roundup for Friday, Sept. 22: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report… Continue reading

Lynnwood teammates mob senior Abbie Orr (4) after her impressive dig led to a point against Jackson during a volleyball match Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023, at Lynnwood High School in Bothell, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lynnwood volleyball team continues rise to prominence

After ending a 20-year state drought last season, the Royals are surging again and have vaulted to No. 3 in Class 3A in the new WSVCA poll.

Jackson High’s Ben Lee lunges to get to the ball against Kamiak on Thursday, Sep. 22, 2022, at the Kamiak Tennis Courts in Mukilteo, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Prep boys tennis season preview: Players and teams to watch

A look at the area’s top athletes and teams on the tennis court this fall.

Austin Roest prepares to take a wrist shot during the first day of Silvertips training camp on Thursday, August 31, 2023, at Angel of the Winds Arena in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Dad is an NHL bigwig, but Silvertips’ Roest carving his own path

The 19-year-old forward and son of Stanley Cup-winning executive Stacy Roest leads the Silvertips into the 2023-24 season.

Rich Haldi. (County Sports Hall of Fame photo)
County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 bio: Rich Haldi

The WSU alum and longtime EvCC athletic administrator helped found the Snohomish County Sports Hall of Fame.

Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Sept. 11-17

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Sept. 11-17. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Arlington junior quarterback Leyton Martin throws a short pass during the second quarter of the season opener against Kamiak on Friday, Sep. 1, 2023, at Arlington High School in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
3 games to watch in Week 4 of the prep football season

An in-depth look at the best games the area has to offer, plus a full schedule of the local action in Week 4.

Lakewood High School.
Refs blown call means Lakewood football game will restart in 3rd quarter

The Cougars dispute an incorrectly spotted ball by officials on a penalty-riddled play in the 3rd quarter. The game will resume from that point in Week 10.

Longtime Edmonds School District wrestling coach John Casebeer was also a member of the Snohomish County Wrestling Officials Association for 27 years. (County Sports Hall of Fame photo)
County Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2023 bio: John Casebeer

The 1963 Edmonds graduate spent 30 successful years as a wrestling coach in the Edmonds School District.

Most Read