Sock choke gives France the Hopman edge

Richard Gasquet made the most of a Jack Sock choke to give France a 1-0 lead over the United States in the Hopman Cup final at Perth Arena. 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 6-3 5-7 7-6 (8-6) in two-and-a-half hours. The triumph means France are now just one victory away from securing their second Hopman Cup crown.”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.”Kristina Mladenovic can secure the title for France with victory over American Coco Vandeweghe. Mladenovic, ranked 42 in the world, has beaten Vandeweghe just once in five attempts.France’s only previous Hopman Cup title came in 2014, when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet defeated Poland in the final.The US are aiming to snare a record seventh Hopman crown.

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