Murray, Watson keep UK hopes alive

World No. 2 Andy Murray overcame a late surge from Germany’s Alex Zverev to win their singles match at the Hopman Cup and keep Great Britain’s finals hopes alive.

Murray put Wednesday’s loss to Nick Kyrgios behind him to get past world No.83 Zverev, 6-3 6-4.

The Scot was only broken once, when serving for the match the first time and then saved more break points before closing out the win.

He and Heather Watson now need to win the mixed doubles and then rely on France upsetting Australia Green in Friday night’s tie to make it through to Saturday’s final.

But if they get there, Watson is confident of a bold showing against the Ukraine team of Alexandr Dolgopolov and Elina Svitolina, who have already qualified for the final after beating Australia Gold on Thursday.

World No. 55 Watson has improved the longer the mixed teams tournament has gone on and she produced her best performance of the week to beat Germany’s Sabine Lisicki 6-3 6-4.

Watson lost just four points on her serve in the first set and broke Lisicki – who owns the fastest serve ever recorded by a woman – three times.

“Today was, I am not going to say some of the best tennis I have played because the rallies were really short, but I feel like I have definitely got better,” Watson said.

“When I was warming up before the match I knew I was feeling great in all aspects of my game.

“I always love the beginning of the year here in Australia, sometimes it just takes me time to settle in and adjust.”

Lisicki, 26, required treatment on her left quad after losing the opening set. The 26-year-old is returning from a knee injury that kept her sidelined after the US Open in August last year.

Her game was marred by unforced errors, including 13 in the opening set alone.

The Australian Green pairing of Kyrgios and Gavrilova can secure their spot in Saturday’s final with victory in their tie against France on Friday night.

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