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Hopman Cup, Perth - Czech Republic vs USA

Posted on January 4, 2012 at 5:00 PM








Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - Match Start At 5:00 pm



Czech Republic vs USA



Match One – Women’s Single

Petra Kvitova vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands



Match Two – Men’s Single

Tomas Berdych vs Mardy Fish



Match Three – Mixed Doubles

Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych vs Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish






 

Session 8 Preview - Czech Republic vs USA


By Chris Pike


Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV's Session 8 tonight sees the top-seeded Czech Republic look to take another step towards Saturday's Final, but six-time winners the USA will be out to knock them off and keep their own title hopes this week alive.


The Czech Republic team of world No. 2 Petra Kvitova and world No. 7 Tomas Berdych came in as the top-seeds to this year's tournament and started strongly thanks to singles victories over Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov on Monday.


The United States team of Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish might have lost to Denmark on Monday evening to begin their campaign, but both have won the Hyundai Hopman Cup before and will be desperate to maintain hope of repeating that performance for the first time together.


Coming off taking on world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki on Monday evening, that saw her race to a 5-1 lead in the first set before losing 6-7, 2-6, it is another big test tonight for American Mattek-Sands up against the world No. 2 Kvitova.


The Czech reigning Wimbledon champion looked good as well in her opening 6-4, 6-2 victory over Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova on Monday.


Mattek-Sands and Kvitova have played just twice previously with the Czech prevailing in both encounters. The first was in Fed Cup action in 2009 and then the second last year at Paris in the semi finals.


That will then lead into potentially the biggest men's match of the week between the world No. 7 Berdych and the No. 8 ranked Fish.


While Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, Spain's Fernando Verdasco and France's Richard Gasquet have all been in the top 10 before, Fish and Berdych are the two currently there now who are playing at the Hyundai Hopman Cup this week.


Both came off tremendous years as well in 2011 with Berdych well and truly consolidating himself in the top seven, and Fish breaking into the top 10 for the first time and staying there while also cementing himself as the No. 1 American.


They might be experienced men on tour but have only played each other once previously with Fish winning in straight-sets at last year Wimbledon Championships in the Round of 16.


The Czechs lost their mixed doubles match to Bulgaria on Monday night meaning that Berdych remains winless in that format in his Hopman Cup career, but the Americans also lost their mixed doubles encounter to Denmark so they will both be looking to turn around that result tonight.





 
 
 

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Petra Kvitova flashes past Bethanie Mattek-Sands

 
 
 






 
 




Petra Kvitova acknowledgesthe crowd after defeating Bethanie Mattek-Sands of the US during their women's singles session 8 match on day five of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament in Perth on January 4, 2012.

 







Session 8 Womens Wrap - Kvitova puts Czechs up 1-0


Hyundai Hopman Cup top-seeds the Czech Republic remain unbeaten in singles action this week with world No. 2 Petra Kvitova winning her women's clash with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-1 to open Session 8 at Perth's Burswood Dome tonight.


Kvitova is coming off an incredible 2011 that sees her putting pressure on Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki for the No. 1 ranking and she has come into the New Year in hot form as well.


On Monday, she beat Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-2 and tonight she gave the Czechs a winning start once again with a straight-sets win over defending Hyundai Hopman Cup champion Mattek-Sands.


It only took four games in the opening set for the Czech 21-year-old to break Mattek-Sands' serve for the first time. That put her up 3-1 and from there she took out the opening set 6-2 in 36 minutes.


In the second set, it was the third game when Kvitova first managed to break the American's serve again and from there she ran away with the set 6-1 to secure the win for the Czech Republic.


Kvitova is coming off a life-changing year in 2011 and she is still adjusting to being one the best players in the world, but for now her focus is on things here at the Hopman Cup and she is understandably happy with how she's performing.


"I’m happy that I won but first still I have a lot of space for improvement because I didn’t feel very comfortable on the court and it’s very good that I won but still. The next match, Tomas is playing and then the mixed," Kvitova said.


"When I won the Wimbledon and I was still in London everybody told me it would change my life and I didn’t believe. It was true, though, and I came home and everybody knew me and it was very strange. After Wimbledon everything was very new and now it’s okay but before I was a little bit confused."


The action now moves to men's singles in the battle of two players currently ranked in the top 10 when world No. 7 Tomas Berdych takes on world No. 8 Mardy Fish.


If Berdych wins, the Czechs win the Tie and move into a strong position to qualify for Saturday's Final with a clash against Denmark to come on Friday. However, Fish can keep the USA alive if he can win for the second time in his career over Berdych.

 

 
 
 







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Czech Republic beats US at Hopman Cup to stay perfect after 2 matches






 
 
 
 
 

 


 

 




Tomas Berdych reacts during his match against Mardy Fish of the USA during day five of the 2012 Hopman Cup at The Burswood Dome on January 4, 2012 in Perth, Australia.









Session 8 Mens Wrap - Berdych secures Czech win


Tomas Berdych has maintained the Czech Republic's unbeaten run in singles action at Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV by winning the battle of the top 10 ranked men 6-3, 6-3 against the USA's Mardy Fish to secure tonight's Session 8 at Perth's Burswood Dome for the Czechs.


Both Berdych and his world No. 2 partner Petra Kvitova won their opening two singles matches against Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov on Monday, and now have repeated that performance against the USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Fish tonight.


Kvitova beat defending Hopman Cup champion Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-1 to open tonight's Session and then Berdych came out and played tremendously well against the top American and world No. 8 Fish.


The world No. 7 Czech took out the first set 6-3 in 42 minutes and then while Fish lifted his game in the second and provided stiff opposition for Berdych, the 26-year-old proved too good in the end and claimed that set also 6-3 in 52 minutes.


The victory puts the Czech Republic in a strong position to qualify for Saturday Hyundai's Hopman Cup XXIV Final now with a clash against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen to come on Friday.


The USA's Hopman Cup hopes are over for this year while Denmark and Bulgaria remain a chance of still qualifying from Group A, but only if the Danes can pull off the win over the Czechs.


The win for Berdych was the first of his career over Fish as well so he was pleased with that after also being happy with how he played to beat Bulgaria's Dimitrov on Monday.


While he knows that there is still work to be done for the Czech Republic to qualify for the Final, the thought of it is something that excites him.


"We (Fish) just played twice in our career together so it’s not many matches but many times practice each other and know each other well," Berdych said.


"Both of the wins were very important. The first match was against a very tough opponent (Dimitrov), a young guy and I think we can expect a really good season from him. And today I play Mardy Fish a top 10 player, last season he has a great season and great results.


"To start the year with those two wins I’m happy with that. Still it’s (Final) not confirmed yet and we are not in the Final yet so we still need to do well one more time and that’s why we are here. To start the year well and that so far what is working well on court so looking forward to another match and hopefully another successful match."

 

 








Bethanie Matteck-Sands (top left) and Mardy Fish (top right) of the USA play a shot in their match against Tomas Berdych and Petra Kvitova during day five of the 2012 Hopman Cup at The Burswood Dome on January 4, 2012 in Perth, Australia.







Session 8 Wrap - Top seed Czechs too good for USA


Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV top-seeds the Czech Republic remain unbeaten in singles action this week after Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych won their matches against the USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish in Session 8 at Perth's Burswood Dome tonight.


World No. 2 Kvitova opened the Tie with a strong 6-2, 6-1 victory over defending Hopman Cup champion Mattek-Sands to give the Czech Republic a winning start to the Session and then world No. 7 Berdych won over the eighth ranked Fish 6-3, 6-3 to secure the win for the Czechs.


The Czech Republic ensured it was a clean sweep over the Americans when they won the mixed doubles to close out the Tie 6-3, 7-5.


It comes after they also beat Bulgaria 2-1 on Monday the victory over the USA puts the Czech Republic in a strong position to qualify for Saturday's Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV Final now with a clash against Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen to come on Friday.


The USA's Hopman Cup hopes are over for this year while Denmark and Bulgaria remain a chance of still qualifying from Group A, but only if the Danes can pull off the win over the Czechs.


Berdych played tremendously to beat his fellow top 10 player Fish in the men's singles and then he was delighted to claim his first mixed doubles victory in his three-year Hopman Cup career against the Americans.


"Finally I made my first mixed doubles win here in Perth so maybe I’m more happy for that than my singles," Berdych said.


"Just kidding! We made it, that’s a good one and looking forward to go one more and try to go for the Final."


Kvitova has started 2012 how she ended 2011 in red hot form so far this week at the Hopman Cup and while everyone is looking forward to seeing her take on world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki on Friday, she is just looking to continue her impressive start to the year no matter the opponent.


"Everybody is waiting for this match, but for me it’s a match as usual and we’ll see how it goes," Kvitova said.


On Monday, Kvitova beat Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova 6-4, 6-2 and tonight she gave the Czechs a winning start once again with a straight-sets win over Mattek-Sands.


It only took four games in the opening set for the Czech 21-year-old to break Mattek-Sands' serve for the first time. That put her up 3-1 and from there she took out the opening set 6-2 in 36 minutes.


In the second set, it was the third game when Kvitova first managed to break the American's serve again and from there she ran away with the set 6-1 to secure the win for the Czech Republic.


Then Berdych came out and played tremendously well against the top American and world No. 8 Fish.


The world No. 7 Czech took out the first set 6-3 in 42 minutes and then while Fish lifted his game in the second and provided stiff opposition for Berdych, the 26-year-old proved too good in the end and claimed that set also 6-3 in 52 minutes.


The win for Berdych was the first of his career over Fish as well so he was pleased with that after also being happy with how he played to beat Bulgaria's Dimitrov on Monday.


While the Czechs and the rest of Group A will have to wait until Friday to fight out for their spot in the Final, the one from Group B will decided on Thursday when the French team of Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet take on Spain's Anabel Medina Garrigues and Fernando Verdasco.


Australia and China can't make the Final, but Jarmila Gajdosova and Lleyton Hewitt will also be in action against China's Wu Di and Li Na to round out Thursday's double-header at the Burswood Dome.

 













INTERVIEW


Tomas congratulations. Two singles matches, two wins, and one over a fellow top ten player tonight. So it’s an important win at the start of the season.


Definitely, both of them was very important. You know the first match was against a very tough opponent, young guy, that I think we can expect a really good season from him. To play against Mardy Fish, as you said top ten player, last year he had a great season, great results – so to start the year with those two wins I’m happy for that.



You’re looking in fantastic shape, you well after the break. You’re hitting some powerful heavy balls out there as well.


Yeah thank you. I mean the rest probably wasn’t that enough after what I would like to have, but you know the other side is that my season was long, which means that I was doing well and that’s always the better option. I will try my best to get even better for the beginning and I think this week I’m taking care really well, really slowly, and hope I can keep with it until a couple more weeks.



You always look like your enjoying yourself out there. You’ve certainly got to be on your toes. Nice highlights including this particular point – talk us through this Tomas. We all enjoyed this up in the crowd, especially the finish of this point. Mardy just throwing you his racquet there at one stage – you always seem to get on pretty well.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. We are pretty well and we always – actually we only play twice in our career together, so not many matches but many times practice each other, and know each other well. I mean actually I was lucky that I was actually watching him when the racquet was coming. But no I mean in this stage of the tournament I think it was fun. Just to have something different, you know, the routine that you go every single week during the year, so just have a little bit of fun.



Talking about fun, you guys are looking very good. You’ve had two matches, you’ve won them both, both Ties, so you’re looking good heading towards the finals. You’re in good form.


Yeah well but still it’s not confirmed yet and we are not in the final yet, so you know we still need to do well one more time and that’s why we are here. Just starts to well the year, enjoy it, play well and that so far is what is working well on court. So I’m looking forward to another match and hopefully another successful match.



Well looking forward to seeing you out there. Everyone’s enjoying you playing; you’ve got a lot of fans here.

 

 








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