Serbia edges past Australia

Serbia edges past Australia

Ana and Novak Djokovic clinched victory for Serbia by beating Australia 2-1 in their second tie at the Hyundai Hopman Cup in Perth. The 25-year-old continued her fine form, convincing winning her singles rubber 6-2, 6-3 against world No.175 Ashleigh Barty.

The brand new Perth Arena was packed and filled with a great atmosphere for the tie between the host country and Serbia. After Djokovic had surprisingly lost his rubber 6-4, 6-4 against ATP world No.52 Bernard Tomic, a victory from Ana was badly needed to keep Serbia in the tie, and in pole position to reach Saturday's final.

Ana started furiously in her match against 16-year-old Barty. She hammered eight aces in her first four service games and immediately took command of the rallies. On the other side of the net, the Australian teenager was not overawed by the circumstances either. She often showed flashes of her talent and kept pace with the former world No.1 until 2-2.

There was no stopping Ana today as all parts of her game clicked into place thanks to her strong serving. She produced impressive winners-to-unforced errors figures of 27-13 and reeled off seven games to take the first set and build up a 3-0 lead in set two.

Just as it had occurred on Monday, Ana was broken while serving for the match. Despite that loss of serve, she did not spend much more time on court than necessary, serving out the match two games later after just 57 minutes of play.

With one rubber won apiece, the mixed doubles would decide the tie. Eventually, Ana and Djokovic gained the upper hand during a highly entertaining encounter and beat Barty and Tomic 6-4, 6-7 (8-10), 10-6 in front of an appreciative and enthusiastic audience.

By Joeri Moerman