The USA have claimed the opening tie of the Hopman Cup tennis tournament in Perth, beating the Czech Republic 3-0 in the unique mixed doubles event.
After Coco Vandeweghe beat Lucie Hradecka 6-4 6-2 on Sunday in the women’s singles, world No.23 Jack Sock claimed a 7-5 3-6 6-3 victory over Adam Pavlasek.
The USA then claimed a very friendly dead-rubber mixed doubles 2-4 4-2 4-1, which was played for the first time at this event under the Fast4 format.
With a world ranking of 75, Pavlasek, aged 22, had earlier held his own against Sock, conceding break points in only one game of the first set, then sending down seven aces to win the second and levelling the match.
However, Sock registered fewer unforced errors in the third set, allowing him to claim victory.
Earlier, Vandeweghe, ranked 36 in the world, converted three of seven break points to dispose of her 166th-ranked opponent in 69 minutes.
The American managed to get only 57 per cent of her first serves in, but then won 61 per cent of her second serves. She only double-faulted once, compared to Hradecka’s six, and felt she had made a good start to the new season.
“I played a decently clean match. It’s always going to be a little bit interesting your first time out on the court. A little pre-match jitters but I thought I did a good job,” she said.
“I felt a few pressure situations.”
Hradecka, who replaced world No.11 Petra Kvitova in the Czech team, trailed early after dropping her second service game. Her 12 unforced errors to Vandeweghe’s seven were the difference.
She sent down eight aces, to Vandeweghe’s seven and, while she managed two break points of her own in the second set, she was unable to convert either.
The USA have won the event a record six times in its 28-year history. Vandeweghe doesn’t plan on taking a back seat to teammate Sock as they try to claim a seventh title.
“Yeah, we’ve really been successful here,” she said.
“Jack’s kinda got the experience card since he played last year. I am kinda the newbie, following his lead, so to say.
“I think maybe, hopefully, that’ll change and he’ll follow my lead a bit out there.”