The last battle for 27th Hopman Cup between Poland and USA hinged on the mixed doubles match after Serena was done in by Agnieszka Radwanska and John Isner squared the score 1-1 in his match with Jerzy Jancowicz. The final match was worth its weight in gold as every of its rubber was keenly fought. In the end however, Poland emerged as the first-time winner, depriving USA of the record 7th win. record against Radwanska before she face the world no.5 Pole fir the ninth time. Until yesterday, record against Radwanska before she face the world no.5 Pole fir the ninth time. Until yesterday,Although, Poland lost the men’s singles match, both Poles dished out their best performances in the crucial mixed doubles. Serena’s dream of featuring in three Hopman Cup victories for US could not be realized. Serena first won the crown with James Blake in 2003 and five years later, repeated the conquest in 2008 in the company of Mardy Fish. For Radwanska, victory at HC27 was the sweetest reward after Poland lost despite making it to the final last year. Radwanska had Grzegorz Panfil as her companion in 2014. This year’s tournament will also be remembered for highly ranked women players teaming up with their countrymen, whose ATP rankings were far lower. Great Britain’s Andy Murray and Heather Watson were the sole exceptions.
The most notable absentee at Perth this year was the 94-year-old widow of Harry Hopman, who had graced the arena with her iconic presence for 26 consecutive years. The advancing age prevented Lucy Hopman from travelling to Perth from her home in Florida this summer. Tournament organizers regard the beloved Mrs Hopman as the Queen of the Cup. Ever since the tournament began in 1989, Mrs Hopman has ritually presented trophies to winners, beginning with the then Czechoslovakia pair Miloslav Mecir and Helena Sukova in the inaugural edition in 1989. In recent times, she has been wheel-chaired but that has not reduced her enthusiasm one bit. Tennis legends, who have received trophies from Lucy Hopman include; Steffi Graf, 1993; Boris Becker, 1995; Roger Federer & Martina Hingis, 2001; and Serena Williams, 2003 & 2008. Passionate tennis fans were certain that despite missing the action from the court-side, Lucy Hopman wouldn’t have skipped HC27 via international broadcast. Some links of Lucy Hopman’s file photos are shown below for readers, who wish to see Mrs Hopman distributing the trophies to the winners in different years.
In the final on Saturday, USA’s quest for their record 7th Hopman Cup crown was dashed by powerful display by the Polish team of Agnieszka Radwanska and Jerzy Janowicz. Poland went 1-0 ahead after Agnieszka Radwanska shocked Serena Williams 6-4, 6-7, 6-1. Serena had an 8-0 record against Radwanska before she face the world no.5 Pole for the ninth time. Until yesterday, the dominant Serena had allowed only one set to Radwanska in 2012 Wimbledon final. Tables were turned, when Radwanska won the first set easily and held a match point in the second. But Serena showed some enterprise by breaking back and winning the second set tie break. However, Radwanska powered her game in the decider and secured victory in a 125 minute-match. In men’s singles rubber, however, John Isner ensured that USA remained in contention by defeating Jerzy Janowicz 7-6, 6-4. The 116-minute duel occupied most time in the see-saw first set tie break, during which Janowicz blew away five set points. The loss of her compatriot would have resulted in Radwanska missing a few heart beats because it drove her to the verge of another heartbreaking defeat. Radwanska was a member of last year’s Hopman Cup Polish team that lost to France in the final and she didn’t want to lose one more time as she took to the court with Janowicz for the crucial mixed doubles rubber.
While the Poles played well, they were benefitted by Serena’s patchy form that continued in the mixed doubles rubber as well. The US pair had a service-break advantage in the first set but Serena’s misfiring service at crucial times blew that away. This allowed the Poles to climb back into the game and take the first set 7-5. In the second set with the Poles leading 2-1, a point had to be replayed after Janowicz thought that Poles had won a point. Serena thought that the point should have been awarded to US because Janowicz created the distraction. After 5-minute mid-court arguments, the point was played again and the Poles lost it. Regardless, Serena’s game couldn’t improve and on two occasions she smashed her racquet in frustration after missing her backhand shots. The Poles rode on these errors and as they won the last point, Radwanska jumped into the arms of her compatriot. The 7-5, 6-3 victory gave the Poland team their first ever Hopman Cup.
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