Kyrgios powers Australia to Hopman crown

Kyrgios powers Australia to Hopman crown

Nick Kyrgios dedicated his Hopman Cup title to late coach Darren Tandy after powering Australia to victory in Saturday’s final against Ukraine at Perth Arena.

Australia’s 17-year Hopman Cup title drought came to an end after Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova secured singles wins in the decider.

Gavrilova’s 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over world No.19 Elina Svitolina gave Australia Green the perfect start, before Kyrgios wrapped up the job with a 6-3 6-4 demolition of Alexandr Dolgopolov.

Australia’s only previous Hopman Cup title came back in 1999, when Mark Philippoussis and Jelena Dokic took out the crown, beating Swedish pair Jonas Bjorkman and Asa Carlsson in the final.

Tandy died last month of colon cancer, and Kyrgios was quick to pay respect to the Australian coach.

“He was a good mate of mine actually,” Kyrgios said of Tandy, who was coaching Great Britain’s James Ward before he died.

“I spent a lot of time with him on tour. It’s definitely a sad time.

“I want to honour this win to him.”

Kyrgios was the hero of Hopman Cup 28, winning all four of his singles matches, and combining with Gavrilova for an unbeaten doubles run.

But it was Gavrilova’s fighting spirit in the final that captured the hearts of the nation.

Gavrilova trailed 6-1 in the second-set tiebreak in her women’s singles rubber, before reeling off seven straight points to secure a famous victory.

“I played a tournament in under 12s, and it was a super tiebreaker, and I was down 9-1 and I ended up winning,” Gavrilova revealed after the epic win over Svitolina.

“I just literally told myself to settle down, just stop thinking of everything. Just think about how to win every point.

“I just played free.”

Kyrgios was clinical in the men’s singles rubber, taking the first set in 26 minutes before snaring an early break in the second to cruise to victory.

“It means a lot. It’s my first real title that I’ve won,” Kyrgios said.

“It’s the perfect way to start off the year. I haven’t lost a match yet. I’m riding a lot of confidence going into the Aussie summer. I’m just really happy.”

Against France on Friday night, Australia Green were down a set point in the mixed doubles.

Had they lost, Great Britain would have qualified for the final instead.

But Gavrilova nailed a clutch volley, before Kyrgios helped seal the 2-1 tie win with some magic at the net of his own.

Kyrgios and Gavrilova share a close friendship, and their on-court chemistry proved crucial throughout the week.

“I’ve known Dasha since she was a young one. And we played juniors together,” Kyrgios said.

“I remember when we were playing French juniors.

“I’m pretty sure I shared a room with her at one time. It was kind of weird. We go back a long way. It’s pretty special.”

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