Hopman Cup: Nick Kyrgios wins but Australia knocked out of final contention, USA top group

Perth: Australian Open hopeful Nick Kyrgios played down another injury scare after his Hopman Cup win over Adam Pavlasek in Perth on Tuesday.

Kygrios appeared hampered by a left knee problem during the singles match, in which he beat Pavlasek 7-5, 6-4 to temporarily keep Australia’s title defence hopes alive in the mixed teams tournament before they were snuffed out by the Czech Republic.

But Kyrgios was at pains to play down talk of any lingering problems, saying the knee wasn't a major issue.

Nick Kyrgios of Australia serves at the Hopman Cup. Getty

Nick Kyrgios of Australia serves at the Hopman Cup. Getty

The 21-year-old also had his left lower leg strapped in his first-up win over Feliciano Lopez on Sunday, but said at the time it was due to a recent injury sustained playing basketball.

“Just relax. Jesus Christ. Far out,” he said. “I just had a little bit of a knee pain the last couple of days, it has actually been troubling me for the past couple of weeks.”

“Obviously the first match back a couple of weeks ago was tough and I am just getting used to it again, but hopefully it gets warm soon and it will ease off.”

The world number 13 added that the problem was easily managed.

“I didn’t have too much time to warm up before the match, I was in physio getting it taped and I ran out of time.

“So, for my next match, I am going to go out there and get a bit of a sweat and warm it up a bit … as the match went on, I got a little bit more warm, that is the key for me.”

After Kyrgios’ win, Lucie Hradecka -- a late call-up to replace the injured Petra Kvitova -- levelled the tie with an upset win over the misfiring Daria Gavrilova.

The Czech is ranked 166 in the world, while Kyrgios team-mate Gavrilova is 25th, but it was the Czech who had all the answers, coming from a set down to win 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.

Australia then bowed out of final contention when the Czechs clinched the tie in the deciding mixed doubles rubber.

That meant the undefeated United States pairing of Coco Vandeweghe and Jack Sock were straight through to the final, which the US has won a record six times.

Earlier in the day, Vandeweghe and Sock had notched their second win in as many ties with a 3-0 victory over Spain.

Vandeweghe continued her encouraging start to the year with a 6-2, 6-4 win over Lara Arruabarrena in the women’s singles, before Sock secured the tie for the Americans with a three-set victory over Lopez, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3. They then teamed up to win the mixed doubles 4-3(3), 3-4(2), 4-3(2).

The Americans made it successive clean sweeps in the dead mixed doubles rubber, which meant they couldn't be toppled from the top of their group once Australia lost.

Published Date: Jan 03, 2017 21:59 PM | Updated Date: Jan 03, 2017 21:59 PM

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