The USA’s Coco Vandeweghe has claimed the first match of the 2017 Hopman Cup in Perth, with a 6-4 6-2 victory over Lucie Hradecka of the Czech Republic.
Vandeweghe, ranked 36 in the world, converted three of seven break points to dispose of her 166th ranked opponent in 69 minutes.
The American managed to get only 57 per cent of her first serves in, but then won 61 per cent of her second serves. She only double-faulted once, compared to Hradecka’s six times, and feels she has made a good start to the new season.
“I played a decently clean match. It’s always going to be a little bit interesting your first time out on the court. A little pre-match jitters but I thought I did a good job,” she said.
“I felt a few pressure situations.”
Hradecka, who replaced world No.11 Petra Kvitova in the unique mixed-teams tournament, held her own in the opening set, but trailed early after dropping her second service game. Her 12 unforced errors to Vandeweghe’s seven was the difference.
She sent down eight aces, to Vandeweghe’s seven and while she managed two break points of her own in the second set, she was unable to convert either.
The USA has won the event a record six times in the event’s 28 year history. Vandeweghe doesn’t plan on taking a back seat to teammate Jack Sock as they try to claim a seventh title.
“We’ve really been successful here,” she said.
“Jack’s kind of got the experience card since he played last year. I am kind of the newbie, following his lead so to say.
“I think maybe, hopefully, that’ll change and he’ll follow my lead a bit out there.”