Nick Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova will attempt to end Australia’s 17-year Hopman Cup title drought when they front up in Saturday’s final against Ukraine at Perth Arena.
Australia Green booked their spot in the decider on Friday night in the most thrilling of ways – saving a match point in the mixed doubles to secure a 2-1 tie win over France.
Gavrilova’s volley at the net saved match point during the third set match tiebreak, before Kyrgios struck the winner to secure the 6-4 2-6 11-9 (match tiebreak) victory.
Had Australia Green lost the mixed doubles, the Andy Murray-led Great Britain would have reached the final.
Australia’s only 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.
The last time Australia reached the final was in 2003, when Lleyton Hewitt and Alicia Molik were defeated 3-0 by Serena Williams and James Blake.
Kyrgios and Gavrilova haven’t lost a mixed doubles match throughout the tournament, and they’re confident they can continue their good form in the final.
“We’ve just got one more to go. One more good effort,” Kyrgios said.
“And if it comes down to the doubles, we’ll go out there and do the same thing.
“I definitely thought we had a good chance to win the tournament at the start of the week.
“Dasha’s been playing unbelievable tennis through 2015, and I’ve been playing some pretty good tennis too.”
Ukraine’s pairing of Elina Svitolina and Alexandr Dolgopolov are yet to win a mixed doubles during the tournament.
But they remain unbeaten in the singles.
Dolgopolov and Kyrgios have never faced off against each other before.
World No.19 Svitolina holds a 1-0 win-loss advantage over Gavrilova.
After Friday night’s win over France, Gavrilova said it was important her and Kyrgios did all the right things to prepare for Saturday’s final.
“We’ll get food, recover … the hardest part is going to bed. But I’m just going to turn my phone off,” she said, before Kyrgios quipped with a smile: “I’m not. I’m just going to watch all the highlights.
“That one was one of my favourite tiebreaks I’ve ever played.”