France beat US to win Hopman Cup

France have claimed their second Hopman Cup after producing the goods in the Fast4 mixed doubles against the USA at Perth Arena on Saturday night.Richard Gasquet saved a match point to beat American Jack Sock 6-3 5-7 7-6 (8-6) in the men’s singles rubber, but the tie was locked at 1-1 when Coco Vandeweghe posted a 6-4 7-5 win over Kristina Mladenovic.France then prevailed 4-1 4-3 (5-0) in the Fast4 mixed doubles, ending America’s bid for a record seventh Hopman Cup crown.France’s only other title came in 2014, when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet defeated Poland in the final.Vandeweghe destroyed a racket during a tense period in the second set of her singles match.The world No.36 ended up saving break point on the way to winning that game, and she broke Mladenovic a short time later to secure the win in 97 minutes.After the match, she gave her broken racket to a fan in the crowd.”Was it smashed? I don’t remember doing it,” Vandeweghe joked.”I was just trying to keep my team alive.”Earlier, Gasquet capitalised on a Sock choke to give France the perfect start to the final. Sock was serving for the match at 6-5 up in the third set, only for Gasquet to break back to love to send it into a deciding tiebreak. The American then held a match point in the tiebreak, but hit a forehand into the net to keep Gasquet alive. Gasquet went on to win the match in two-and-a-half hours. “I let it slip away at the end,” Sock said.”I was holding fairly comfortably for a while. So when I got the break I felt pretty good about it.”And then later when I had the match point, I played way too tentatively on it. “If I had it over again, I’d be more aggressive and not decelerate on the ball like I did. “But he puts you under pressure like that, and he comes up with the great shots. It is what it is.”Gasquet said he didn’t panic when he was match point down.”I tried to focus on myself and be tough mentally,” Gasquet said. “It’s very difficult. I know him very well. He’s a great friend of mine. “But on the court, it doesn’t count. We need to fight against each other to win the match. This time I won, last time he won, so that’s the sport.”

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