Fighting Spain rally to win third Hopman Cup titleJanuary 9th, 2010 - 7:33 pm ICT by IANS
Perth, Jan 9 (DPA) Tommy Robredo and Maria-Jose Martinez Sanchez paced Spain to a third Hopman Cup title Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Britain.
Robredo, who played on the 2002 Spanish side which also lifted the trophy at the mixed team event, sent a return winner down the line to clinch the week’s work in the concluding mixed doubles rubber.
The 27-year-old old - only man to be ranked inside the top 20 in both singles and doubles - improved his record at the event to 21-6.
Overall victory on third match point of the wrap-up rubber was added to the first Spanish triumph in 1990 along with that of eight years ago.
“Britain, I’m sorry, it was a great final,” said Robredo. “I must congratulate Maria. Here, no one wins alone. It’s down to our team, our coach, Maria, everyone.”
Added Martina Sanchez: “Tommy was the hero of the day.”
Robredo and his teammate each won a tennis ball replica coated with 174 diamonds from western Australia, traditionally given to winners along with $225,000.
The final scoreline on the day ended 2-1 to the Spaniards after the nation recovered from a defeat of the experienced Sanchez Martinez by British teenaged talent Laura Robson 6-1, 7-6(6).
“It was a good week and good experience, especially playing all the girls ranked 400 places above me,” said Robson.
Robredo clawed out a comeback victory over Andy Murray 1-6, 6-4, 6-3 before the nail-biting mixed rubber which ended the 22nd edition of the competition.
“Spain deserved to win, they played well,” said Murray. “I enjoyed playing with Laura, I let her down a bit today, I feel a bit bad about that.”
Against Murray in singles, Robredo broke to level at a set each and rolled through to the win with a runaway third set, taking it on a third match point as the Scot netted a backhand.
The Scot fired 15 aces but committed 14 backhand errors. He converted on only two of 11 break point opportunities.
“I’m so happy, Andy’s one of the best of the world,” said Robredo. “This gives me a lot of confidence. This was a very important win for us.
“In the first set he played amazing, I could do nothing. I just kept going, pushing hard.
“In the second set I saved break point and started serving better. I got my chances at the important moments, and that doesn’t always happen.”
Murray came to the match with a clean sheet in singles matches this week. He beat Robredo twice in 2009 but lost to the Spaniard in 2007 indoors in France.
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- Australian Open: Djokovic edges out Murray, meets Nadal in final - Jan 28, 2012
- US Open: Somdev plays Andy Murray, Sania meets Sahar Peer - Aug 26, 2011
- Murray, Robson edge Britain closer to Hopman final - Jan 06, 2010
- Federer beats Murray for 7th Wimbledon title (Lead) - Jul 09, 2012
- Djokovic pips Nadal to win longest Grand Slam final - Jan 29, 2012
- Berdych saves match point, clinches deciding tiebreak against Tipsarevic - Nov 24, 2011
- Sania, Bopanna advance to third round of French Open - May 27, 2011
Tags: andy murray, backhand, break point, comeback victory, good experience, hero of the day, hopman cup, jose martinez, maria jose martinez, match point, mixed doubles, mixed rubber, point opportunities, robson, scoreline, spaniards, spanish side, tennis ball, tommy robredo, western australia