France beat GB in 40-degree heat at Hopman

World No.42 Kristina Mladenovic estimates she drank up to seven bottles of fluid as she battled Perth’s 40-degree heat during France’s Hopman Cup victory over Great Britain on Wednesday.

It was already 36.6 degrees when Mladenovic stepped onto the court at 10am local time for her match against Heather Watson.

The mercury peaked at 40.9 degrees during the match, with Mladenovic prevailing 6-4 5-7 6-3.

World No.18 Richard Gasquet wrapped up the tie for France with a clinical 6-4 6-2 win over Dan Evans in a match that lasted just 80 minutes.

France will secure a spot in Saturday’s final against the US if they can beat Switzerland on Friday night.

Mladenovic said she was both physically and mentally tested during her 135-minute epic against Watson.

“It was definitely difficult ” Mladenovic said.

“Sometimes you would like to try to put more intensity, but you have to be smart sometimes and maybe not run down every single ball.

“But I feel great physically. I have to say I was far from having cramps or big fatigue.

“It was more like a mental conditioning. You have to keep working in your head to stay there and concentrate, because if your concentration goes away then it is very difficult.”

Mladenovic said she surprised herself by how much water she needed to drink.

“I was taking those big bottles of water. And I’d already drunk like three or four of them, and I was also (drinking) my sports drink,” she said.

“I was like, ‘How many bottles did I drink?’ I think it was like six or seven. I was like, ‘Oh my god’. It was very hot.”

Gasquet was in no mood to stay out in the heat for long, cruising past world No.66 Evans with little trouble.

But a much bigger challenge lies ahead for Gasquet when he takes on 17-time grand slam winner Roger Federer on Friday night.

“I’ve played him many times, and I’ve lost to him many times,” said Gasquet, who has only beaten Federer twice in 17 attempts.

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