Serbia reach Hopman Cup final

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By SAPA

Perth, Australia – Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic led Serbia into the Hopman Cup final, winning their singles matches Friday over Germany.

Djokovic beat Tommy Haas 6-2, 6-0, while Ivanovic defeated Tatjana Malek 6-0, 6-1.

The Serbs will face Spain in Saturday's final.

Djokovic took a 4-0 lead in the first set but was then broken by Haas in the fifth game. The German held his serve for the only time in the match in the next game.

Haas then had three break points when trailing 2-0 in the second set but he couldn't convert.

Earlier, South Africa beat France 2-1 when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to retire in the deciding mixed doubles match with a left hamstring injury. The Frenchman was later forced to withdraw from next week's Sydney International.

Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa beat Mathilde Johansson 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 before Tsonga defeated Kevin Anderson 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), including winning the final five points of the first-set tiebreaker. During the singles match, Tsonga injured his leg while stretching for a shot.

Scheepers and Anderson had won the first set of the mixed doubles 6-3 and were trailing 1-2 and on serve in the second when Tsonga indicated that he could not continue.

Neither team had a chance of advancing to the final.

Tsonga said he was unsure of the exact nature of his injury, but his retirement was a precaution to ensure he doesn't worsen the problem before the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Jan. 14th.

“I don't know exactly what I have but I felt something during the singles,” Tsonga said. “It (time) was a bit short between the singles and the mixed doubles so I didn't have time to know exactly what is it. It was a bit more sore during the mixed doubles so for me it was better to quit.”

In the women's singles, both players struggled to find their best form or consistency, with the pair sharing 111 unforced errors and 33 break points.

At the end of the 2-hour, 50-minute match which included 15

breaks of serve, Johansson finally gave her opponent a crucial breakthrough by dropping serve with her 12th double-fault to leave Scheepers serving for victory.

“I think we both played well within stages of the match,” Scheepers said. “I thought she played a really good match and I just tried to hang in there with her.

“The moment you give her an easy ball she goes for it and she gets momentum from that, and I think the key was just keep playing aggressive regardless of what the score was.” – Sapa-AP

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