Paul Kane/Getty Images
Australia got their 2018 Hopman Cup campaign off to a brilliant start on Sunday, as Daria Gavrilova and Thanasi Kokkinakis saw the team to a 2-1 win over Canada.
Gavrilova got the home fans going early on with an accomplished win against Eugenie Bouchard. That was followed up by Kokkinakis, who won a fascinating three-set encounter with Vasek Pospisil.
The Canadian duo did manage to get a point on the board eventually, as they won the doubles contest in straight sets.
Here are the full results from Sunday’s action, the schedule for New Year’s Day and a reminder of how Australia got up and running.
Australia 2-1 Canada
Daria Gavrilova (AUS) bt. Eugenie Bouchard (CAN), 6-1 6-4
Thanasi Kokkinakis (AUS) bt. Vasek Pospisil (CAN), 6-4 3-6 6-3
Bouchard & Pospisil (CAN) bt. Gavrilova & Kokkinakis (AUS), 4-3 (1) 4-3 (4)
Belgium (Elise Mertens and David Goffin) vs. Germany (Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev)
Paul Kane/Getty Images
The Perth crowd turned out in force to cheer on the local stars on Sunday. Gavrilova and Kokkinakis responded.
The former was in action early on and faced a potentially testing match against the talented Bouchard. And while the scoreline was eventually lopsided in the favour of the Aussie, it was a match of fine margins.
Indeed, Gavrilova faced 10 break points on her serve throughout this contest and was crucially able to save nine of them. Bouchard simply wasn’t able to bring her best over the 80 minutes they were out on court.
As noted by tennis journalist Jose Morgado, the Australian was striking the ball much more cleanly than her opponent:
Gavrilova d. Bouchard 6-1, 6-4 to give Australia the lead.
With the match wrapped up, it was up to Kokkinakis to finish the job, although he was the big underdog against Pospisil; the Canadian, ranked 84th in the world, is 128 places ahead of Kokkinakis in the ATP rankings.
You wouldn’t have known it in the initial stages of the contest, as the two shared the opening couple of sets. Eventually, urged on by the home support, it was the 21-year-old Aussie who was the stronger in the decider, wrapping up the match for Australia.
Will Russell/Getty Images
Afterwards, Kokkinakis spoke candidly about his recent injury woes and suggested he’s now feeling closer to full fitness.
“I feel good,” he said, per Justin Chadwick of AAP (h/t Yahoo). “It’s the best I’ve felt in a while. It’s pretty funny. When I see new people, or people I haven’t seen for a while, it’s not even, ‘Hey, how are you doing’. They say, ‘How’s the body?'”
As we can see courtesy of the competition Twitter account, he was pleased with his effort afterwards:
A well deserved and hard-fought win for #TeamAustralia’s @TKokkinakis.
Stay tuned for the doubles ✌️ #HopmanCup https://t.co/kD3pKDHyd0
With the match won for Australia, it was merely pride at stake when the four players in question took to the court again for the doubles showdown. Pospisil and Bouchard will at least take some confidence forward from it, as they earned a narrow victory.