(January 2, 2012) The top-seeded Serbian pairing of Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic overhauled a rampant Australian team to clinch a 6-4 6-7(8) [10-6] mixed doubles thriller in front of a capacity crowd of more than 13,500 – a record for a tennis event in Western Australia – at Perth Arena on Wednesday night.
Australia got off to the best possible start in the tie, Bernard Tomic stunning world No.1 Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-4 with a masterful display of cat-and-mouse tennis.
“This is especially something I needed before the Australian Open,” said Tomic. “I’m playing the best tennis I’ve played the last few years. So I’m really happy with myself. I’m just happy that after training the last few months, this is all coming good.”
Ana Ivanovic leveled the contest for Serbia, her forehand firing in the 6-2 6-3 win over 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty.
“I played a good match tonight and I’m really happy I managed to play a higher level than I did in the first match,” said Ivanovic of her performance. “It was very different, there were lots of shorter points and she (Barty) started off really well. I think she has a really bright future in front of her.”
The Australian pairing showed flashes of pure brilliance in the mixed doubles, coming back from match point down to clinch the second set in a tiebreak. They took their experienced opponents to the brink in a world class deciding super tiebreak but ultimately the Hopman Cup-honed Serbian duo ran out the winners, 10 points to six.
In the day session the Italian pairing of Francesca Schiavone and Andreas Seppi closed out a hard-fought contest over Germans Tatjana Malek and Tommy Haas.
Haas won a comprehensive 7-6(3) 7-6(7) singles rubber over Seppi and Francesca Schiavone had to fight hard to close out a 3-6 6-3 6-3 win over Malek. The match was decided in the mixed doubles, the Italians running out the winners over Germany 6-4 7-5.