Australia beats Canada to open Hopman Cup campaign

Eugenie Bouchard of Canada sits in her chair between games against Donna Vekic of Croatia during their first-round match at the Rogers Cup WTA women's tennis tournament in Toronto, Ont., Tuesday August 8, 2017. (Mark Blinch/CP)

PERTH, Australia — Daria Gavrilova and Thanasi Kokkinakis each won their singles matches to give Australia a perfect start to its Hopman Cup campaign against Canada at Perth Arena on Sunday.

Gavrilova claimed a 6-1, 6-4 win over Eugenie Bouchard of Westmount, Que., before Kokkinakis wrapped up the Group A tie for Australia by beating world No. 108 Vasek Pospisil from Vancouver 6-4, 3-6. 6-3 in the men’s singles rubber.

Australia now has an unassailable 2-0 lead ahead of the mixed doubles rubber later Sunday.

From the outset, world No. 83 Bouchard struggled to find any fluency and conceded the first set to the 25th ranked Gavrilova in under half an hour.

Gavrilova then raced to a 3-0 lead in the second before Bouchard broke back, and three double faults from Gavrilova in the sixth game opened the door for the Canadian to take the upper hand in the second set.

But Gavrilova recovered to hold serve and broke Bouchard again to claim the victory in 78 minutes.

On the back of Gavrilova’s victory for the host nation, Kokkinakis, ranked 209th, also started confidently and claimed the first set, before Pospisil responded in the second.

With the match evenly poised midway through the deciding third set, Kokkinakis eventually took a break point opportunity in the sixth game and then served it out for the win in one hour and 53 minutes.

Belgium plays Germany in the other Group A fixture on Monday.

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