|Posted on January 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM|
Friday, January 6, 2012 - Match Start At 1:00 pm
Czech Republic vs Denmark
Match One – Women’s Single
Petra Kvitova vs Caroline Wozniacki
Match Two – Men’s Single
Tomas Berdych vs Frederik Nielsen
Match Three – Mixed Doubles
Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych vs Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen
Session 10 Preview - Czech Republic vs Denmark
By Chris Pike
The Czech Republic, Denmark and Bulgaria all head into Friday's Session 10 double-header at Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV at the Burswood Dome alive, but it is the top-seeded Czechs who go in as favourites to qualify for Saturday's Final against France's Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet.
Czech Republic's team of Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych have had an outstanding week in Perth so far with strong wins over Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov and the USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy Fish, but there is still Friday's hurdle of Denmark.
World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen are teaming up in Denmark's debut appearance at the Hyundai Hopman Cup and can remain a chance to qualify for the Final with a thumping win over the Czech Republic.
The double-header Session will begin with the world No. 1 Wozniacki and world No. 2 Kvitova in a match that has the potential to be one of the biggest in Hyundai Hopman Cup history.
The Tie will then switch to the men's singles when world No. 7 Berdych faces Denmark journeyman Nielsen.
If the Czechs win both singles clashes as they have in their first two Ties this week then they go straight through to the final, however, if they don’t, it opens up the door for the Danes to win the encounter.
If they do, that not only means that both the Czechs and Denmark can make the Final depending on matches, sets and points won, but so can the young Bulgarian team who face the No. 4 seed Americans who are out of contention of making the Final.
Not only will the Wozniacki-Kvitova clash be fascinating because it is the first meeting of the world's top two players this year, but because it has a big bearing on who could make it through to Saturday's Final to play France.
The world's No. 1 and 2 have played five times previously with Wozniacki leading the head-to-head battles 3-2. All have come over the last three years between the pair of 21-year-olds as well.
Wozniacki won the first two in 2009 at Bastad and then in Madrid in 2010, but Kvitova recorded her first win over the world No. 1 at the 2010 Wimbledon.
Wozniacki hit back with a win at Beijing later in 2010, but it was Kvitova victorious in their most recent meeting at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships late in 2011.
Kvitova has been in superb form this week coming off her amazing 2011 that saw her win Wimbledon, lead the Czech Republic to the Fed Cup and be named the ITF World Champion and WTA Player of the Year.
This week, she has beaten Pironkova 6-4, 6-2 and American Mattek-Sands 6-2, 6-1. Wozniacki turned up just a short time from Thailand before her opening clash with Mattek-Sands on Monday, in which she won 7-6, 6-2. She then beat Pironkova 7-5, 4-6, 6-2 on Wednesday.
Meanwhile in the men's encounter, it will be the first time that Berdych and Nielsen have played one another.
Berdych has had a good week to date with a three-set win over Dimitrov and then straight-sets win over Fish on his third visit to the Hopman Cup.
Nielsen put in a tremendous outing against world No. 8 Fish on Monday pushing him to three sets before he went down to Bulgaria's Dimitrov.
Then in the other Tie of the day between Bulgaria and the USA, Pironkova and Mattek-Sands will play for the second time after the Bulgarian prevailed in their first meeting back in 2008 at New Haven.
Pironkova's week so far has seen her lose to the top two women in the world, so that is no disgrace, and she took six games of Kvitova and then pushed Wozniacki all the way to three sets.
Mattek-Sands hasn’t got quite as close in her losses to the Czech and Dane, but won the Hopman Cup last year and will be keen to go out on a winning note this time around.
In the men's, it will be the first time that world No. 8 Fish has played exciting Bulgarian 20-year-old Dimitrov.
Dimitrov has had a good debut week in Perth as well. On Monday, he pushed world No. 7 Berdych to three tough sets and then he beat Nielsen 7-6, 6-2 on Wednesday.
Fish, a previous winner in Perth in 2008 alongside Serena Williams, beat Nielsen in three sets on Monday night before going down in straight sets to Berdych on Wednesday.
With three teams in contention, the world's No. 1 and 2 players, two men in the top 10 and two past winners from the USA looking to end their Hopman Cup campaigns on a winning note and the makings are there for a Session to remember of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV.
Petra Kvitova edges past Caroline Wozniacki in Perth
Petra Kvitova, representing the Czech Republic, in action during her win over women's World No.1 Caroline Wozniacki, at the Hopman cup at the Burswood Dome
Session 10 Womens Wrap - Kvitova beats Wozniacki
The Czech Republic is one step closer to Saturday's Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV Final after world No. 2 Petra Kvitova beat Denmark's world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 to open today's Session 10 at Perth's Burswood Dome.
The match was billed as potentially one of the biggest in the 24-year history of the Hyundai Hopman Cup and it didn’t fail to live up to its potential in a contest lasting just under two and-a-half hours between the world's top two ranked women.
The victory for Kvitova sees her level her head-to-head record at three apiece with Wozniacki and now has the Czech Republic on the brink of qualifying for Saturday's Final against France's Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet.
The Session will now move to the men's singles when Czech world No. 7 Tomas Berdych can book a spot in the Final by beating Denmark's Frederik Nielsen.
The women's match featuring the world No. 1 and 2 will be remembered as one of the most engrossing women's matches in the history of the tournament.
Without doubt, having the top two players in the world doing battle is a great statement on the success and popularity of the Hyundai Hopman Cup here in Perth as well.
Not only having both Kvitova and Wozniacki at the Burswood Dome is massive for the tournament, but for them to then face each other and put on such an amazing spectacle for the big crowd, then it will be a match to remember.
It was Kvitova who made the fast start in the first set. The Czech 21-year-old raced out to a 3-1 lead and still held a 5-3 advantage to appear cruising to take the set out, but the Dane hit back hard.
There were three straight breaks of serve to end the set and it went to a tie-break where Kvitova won seven points to four.
Kvitova again scored an early break in the second set, but it didn’t last and Wozniacki won the last four games to close it out 6-3 and send it to a deciding third set.
For the third straight set Kvitova got off to a fast start to lead 3-1 and this time she was able to capitalise on that early lead by winning the set, and the match, 6-4.
Kvitova was delighted with her win over Wozniacki to continue what has been a dominant week for her so far in Perth following wins also over the USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova. She's now hoping Berdych can win to put the Czechs into the Final.
"It was a great match from both of us and hopefully the people liked it. I’m really happy that I won because it’s a small test on how we are prepared for the Australian Open and Caroline played really well and it was a really close match," Kvitova said.
"It’s very good preparation to play here and I’m really happy that we can play here because it’s a really nice tournament for us and really good preparation. We need to play three or four matches and it’s really good result up to this time.
"Hopefully, I said to Tomas he can win, and I mean we have a good tactics for the mixed. We have to win two singles and then we can have a bit of fun and we again play tomorrow and it will be nice to play in the Final."
Tomas Berdych defeated Frederik Nielsen
Czech Republic beats Denmark, advances to Hopman Cup final
Tomas Berdych hits a backhand shot to Denmark's Frederik Nielsen during their match at the Hopman Cup tennis tournament in Perth, Australia, Jan. 6, 2012. Berdych won the match 6-1, 6-3.
Session 10 Mens Wrap - Berdych puts Czechs into Final
World No. 7 Tomas Berdych has beaten Denmark's Frederik Nielsen 6-1, 6-3 at Perth's Burswood Dome today to book the Czech Republic into Saturday's Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV Final against France.
After his world No. 2 partner Petra Kvitova continued her unbeaten singles week with an engrossing three-set win over world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki to begin the Czech Republic's Tie with Denmark, Berdych proved too strong for Nielsen.
Berdych took out the first set 6-1 in just 22 minutes and then the second 6-3 in 36 minutes to secure the win for the Czechs, and advance them to the Final against France's Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet.
The win over Nielsen came on the back of Berdych beating Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov 6-4, 6-7, 6-3 on Monday and then the USA's world No. 8 Mardy Fish 6-3, 6-3 on Wednesday.
Berdych is in his third visit to Perth and now in his first Final and the 26-year-old former Wimbledon finalist and is delighted to now be in the Final of the Hopman Cup after playing well in his singles clashes.
"I’m happy with my game today especially. I played an opponent that I’ve seen for the first time here at the Hopman Cup so it always can be tricky. He likes to play aggressive and risky so you never know what’s going to happen so I’m happy with the way I played," Berdych said.
"I have three wins so it’s always important even if it’s with any opponent that the win comes and that’s a really good start but still I’m looking forward to make it one more win.
"It’s a really nice place for the Final that we’re going to play together. Actually one of my first practices when I came here in Perth was with Gasquet so it’s nice to start the week with him and end up with him as well so I’m really looking forward to that match and I will try my best and hopefully we can keep our winning streak with Petra and come for the title."
Session 10 of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV will now continue with Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova and Grigor Dimitrov facing the USA's Bethanie Mattek-Sands and Mardy tonight.
Tomas Berdych in the stands cheering on Petra Kvitova during her match against No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki
Session 10 Wrap - Czechs into Final, Bulgaria 2nd
Session 10 of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV saw the tournament's No. 1 seeds Czech Republic qualify for Saturday's Final against France by beating Denmark 2-1, while Bulgaria also defeated the USA 2-1 at Perth's Burswood Dome on Friday night.
The Czech Republic team of world No. 2 Petra Kvitova and No. 7 Tomas Berdych prevailed in their singles matches over Denmark pair Caroline Wozniacki and Frederik Nielsen to move into Saturday's Final that will see them face French pair Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet.
The victories over the Danish duo for the Czech pair mean that they have won all their singles encounters this week. Kvitova has now beaten world No. 1 Wozniacki as well as Bulgaria's Tsvetana Pironkova and American Bethanie Mattek-Sands.
Berdych has had a strong week also beating Bulgaria's Grigor Dimitrov in three sets, and then American Mardy Fish and Dane Frederik Nielsen in two.
Kvitova began the Tie in the battle of the world's top two women by eventually winning 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 but it was an enthralling contest lasting just under two and-a-half hours.
By winning, though, Kvitova put the Czech Republic on the verge of qualifying for Saturday's Final and world No. 7 Berdych came out and booked their spot by beating Nielsen 6-1, 6-3 in 57 minutes.
Kvitova was delighted with her week so far to qualify for the Final and now can't wait to take on France's Bartoli.
"Unfortunately I have a bad record with her (Bartoli) so hopefully tomorrow will be the match for me and she is playing great here," Kvitova said.
"I know she had a great serve and many aces and she is playing as aggressive as me so we will see who will be first tomorrow."
Meanwhile, Berdych is also looking forward to taking on Richard Gasquet as he prepares for his first Final in his third year in Perth.
"This year for the third time it’s way better and as you can see when I feel well then we both play good matches. We are in the Final so far and still one match to go so looking forward to that. I have to say I’m feeling good and pretty much ready to start 2012," Berdych said.
"I think Richard is in really good form and really good shape and I think he had quite enough time for preparation for the New Year and the new season. He’s looking strong as well in his three matches and I think it’s the best set up for the Final to play each other.
"If I just look some matches before we played I think last year and I won in three sets so I’m expecting a really tough one and you cannot get any easy ones not even in the Final. I’m looking for my best tomorrow and we are going to try to be the two that’s going to bring the (diamond) balls with us."
Young Bulgarian pair Pironkova and Dimitrov ended their nation's Hyundai Hopman Cup debut in fine style beating No. 4 seeds the USA.
The Tie began when defending Hopman Cup champion Mattek-Sands gave the Americans a winning start with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Pironkova in the women's singles, but then 20-year-old Dimitrov put on a show in the men's singles and mixed doubles.
Dimitrov has been a junior world No. 1 and a Grand Slam winner at both Wimbledon and the US Open, and that has led to him earning the nickname 'Baby Federer'.
He has recorded a singles win over world No. 7 Tomas Berdych before and now tonight he added world No. 8 American Mardy Fish to his growing list of scalps.
Dimitrov simply blew the No. 1 ranked American and former Hopman Cup winner off the court with a 6-2, 6-1 victory in just 58 minutes.
Dimitrov served massively frequently ranging from the 203-207km/hr mark. He was hitting winners from anywhere and thrived on the big Bulgarian support in the crowd as well.
It was likely Dimitrov's most complete performance as a professional against a man ranked in the top 10 and a display that certainly sees him look ahead to the rest of 2012 with every expectation of being able to make some waves on tour.
The mixed doubles were then decided in a Pro Set with Bulgaria winning eight games to five to see Pironkova and Dimitrov claim the Tie and end up finishing second in Group A behind Finalists the Czech Republic, and ahead of third-placed Denmark and the winless Americans.
The singles win over Fish for Dimitrov ended a strong week for the 20-year-old. On Monday, he pushed Berdych to three sets and on Wednesday he beat Dane Nielsen and now he has thoroughly beaten Fish. He has tremendously enjoyed his time in Perth.
"First of all thanks to all of you that stayed here. It’s was a great atmosphere for the newcomers in this tournament. Thanks to my team, the Bulgarian team and to all of our supporters," Dimitrov said.
"To all the people that came to watch, the sponsors and especially to Paul McNamee. This tournament was great, it was the best service you ever get. Unfortunately tomorrow we’re going to go back to routine and I don’t like it much to be honest but hopefully we’ll be back next year. We had a great experience, great matches and we’re very happy."
Dimitrov's partner Pironkova had three tough singles matches against the world No. 1 Wozniacki, world No. 2 Kvitova and then Mattek-Sands, but also enjoyed her debut appearance at the Hopman Cup.
"For me personally it was a great week with amazing experience for me. I played some great matches in doubles with Grigor. He’s great so yeah it’s been great," Pironkova said.
"Well we Bulgarians, we are everywhere! They were great they helped us a lot during the week."
Fish might not have enjoyed the successful tournament that he did in his last appearance in 2008 when he won alongside Serena Williams, but still has no doubt that the Hopman Cup is the ideal start to start any new year.
"We had a blast. It was a blast playing with Bethanie and she was much better than I was today that’s for sure," Fish said.
"I was hoping they would hit to her instead of me every time but we had a blast and thank you all for coming out. It’s still the mixed doubles here and we had fun and thank you for your support."
The Final of Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIV will now be played inside Perth's Burswood Dome between No. 1 seeds the Czech Republic, made up of Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych, and the No. 2 seeds France, made up of Marion Bartoli and Richard Gasquet.