Greek tennis duo, Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari have defeated Switzerland 2-1, represented by Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup. Their win unfortunately wasn’t enough for Tsitsipas and Sakkari to advance to the final, as they needed to win 3-0.
The night started with the men’s singles match, Stefanos Tsitsipas facing Roger Federer for the first time. Both players would be perfect on serve in the first set, holding all of their service games without facing any break points. However, Federer came from behind to win the opening set 7-5. The second set would also go to a tiebreak, with Federer taking it 7-4 to put the Swiss up 1-0 overall. This meant that the Swiss would advance to the final regardless of the results in the two remaining matches, as Greece needed to win 3-0 to win the group.
In the women’s singles, Maria Sakkari took on Belinda Bencic. The two players had never played each other prior to this encounter. One break of serve was all Sakkari needed in the first set, as the Greek won it 6-3. Sakkari went down 2-3 in the second set, but then won four of the next five games to take it 6-4 and level the score at 1-1. This meant that the mixed doubles match would decide the winner.
There, the Greeks had a tough task against the experienced Swiss duo. Bencic and Federer not only won the title together last year, but they also went in to the match holding an 8-1 doubles record when playing together at the Hopman Cup. The first set would go to a tiebreak, where the Greeks would save three set points to take it 5-4. Switzerland bounced back in the second set, taking it 4-2. The third set went to a tiebreak, with the Greeks winning the last four points of the match to take it 5-3.
All in all, the 2019 Hopman Cup was a great experience for the young Greeks. Although it is unfortunate that they could not advance to the final, they went out on a high. After a disappointing loss against Great Britain, the Greeks got better with every match. Sakkari got to play her idol in Serena Williams, and Tsitsipas got to play his idol in Roger Federer. Both players did very well and put up great fights against these two legends of the sport. Switzerland will now face either Germany or Australia in the final.
Next week, Sakkari and Tsitsipas will play their final tournaments before the Australian Open. Sakkari will travel to Tasmania for the Hobart International, where she will be seeded third. Tsitsipas will look to win his second ATP title at the Sydney International, where he will be the top seed.
GREECE 2, SWITZERLAND 1:
Roger Federer (SUI) d. Stefanos Tsitsipas (GRE) 7-6(5) 7-6(4)
Maria Sakkari (GRE) d. Belinda Bencic (SUI) 6-3 6-4
Sakkari/Tsitsipas (GRE) d. Bencic/Federer (SUI) 4-3(4) 2-4 4-3(3)
by Andrew Stamas
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