Germany beat US to enter Hopman Cup tennis final against Slovakia

January 7th, 2009 - 6:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Perth, Jan 7 (DPA) Unbeaten Germany moved into a Thursday showdown with the equally spotless Slovak Republic for a place in the Hopman Cup tennis final after defeating the US 2-1 Wednesday.The defeat leaves defending champion America with early plane tickets out of town after losing both of its ties.

Germany with veteran Nicolas Kiefer and teenaged talent Sabine Lisicki fought to down the seeds, wrapping up the scoreline with a 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 mixed doubles victory.

The US has so far lost five of six rubbers, with Blake notching the lone success for the top seeds as he converted on only one of 19 break points, but compensated with 17 aces in a singles rubber defeat of former number four Kiefer 7-6 (7-3), 6-7 (7-9), 6-4.

Lisicki, Germany’s top-ranked woman at 56th, remained undefeated with her 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 win over Meghann Shaughnessy.

Shaughnessy, who missed most of the 2008 season after playing the Hopman and then injuring her knee at the Gold Coast, couldn’t cope with the on-form game of the youngster.

“I didn’t think about her knee, I just focussed on my match,” said Lisicki. “I was down in both sets, but I played especially well in the second.

“I was up and down in the third, but I won and that is what counts. I’m a fighter and I wanted to win, so things turned out well again today.”

Blake recovered poise for the US as he beat Kiefer in a match which featured one break of serve.

“I came out with a win, I’m really happy,” said the American who played a tie last year with Shaughnessy when she replaced the late-arriving Serena Williams on the team.

“I played great, but I had to against Nicolas. I was able to serve well and that was key. He put a lot of pressure on me.

“This is something I’m proud of. I keep trying to get better and better, but it’s tougher as I’m getting older,” said the 29-year-old.

“I’m having fun on court and if the body holds up I hope to be in the game for a long time.”

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