Germany improves to 2-0 at Hopman Cup with win over Canada

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PERTH, Australia — Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber gave Germany its second consecutive win at the Hopman Cup mixed teams tennis tournament with singles victories Wednesday over Canadians Vasek Pospisil and Eugenie Bouchard.

No. 4-ranked Zverev beat Pospisil 6-4, 6-2 and Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open and US Open champion, defeated Bouchard 6-1, 6-3. Canada fell to 0-2 after an opening loss to Australia. Germany beat Belgium in its first match.

Bouchard, a former Wimbledon finalist and top-five player now ranked 83rd after a concussion and form slump, said the 10 a.m. start time was too early for her. She also lost to Australian Daria Gavrilolova in straight sets in her opening match, also a mid-morning start.

"It was a bit of the same pattern as the first match," Bouchard said. "I think I need to wake up ... it's because we're playing too early. I felt like I made a few too many errors here and there."

Australia was playing Belgium in another Group A match later Wednesday. Australia plays Germany on Friday, with the winner likely advancing to the final on Saturday.

On Thursday, the Roger Federer-led Switzerland will play the United States in Group B, with the winner advancing to the final. Japan takes on Russia in the other match.

Seeds Carreno Busta, Berdych exit

Second-seeded Spaniard Pablo Carreno Busta and third seed Tomas Berdych fell in the first round of the Qatar Open on Tuesday, losing in hard-fought matches to Borna Coric and Jan-Lennard Struff respectively.

Carreno Busta was expected to shine in his season-opening event after featuring in the 2017 ATP Finals but Coric came out on top in the two-hours-and-41-minutes encounter after launching an impressive comeback to win 5-7, 6-2, 7-6(10/8). Coric held his nerve to beat the world No. 10 and will face Georgia's Nikoloz Basilashvili in the second round.

The Czech Republic's Berdych slipped early in his match and lost the first set before recovering to win the second in dominant fashion. But German Struff dug deep to force a tie-break in the final set and went on to win 6-4 1-6 7-6 (7/4).

Aljaz Bedene, now representing his home country of Slovenia again, set up a second-round encounter with top seed Dominic Thiem after beating Tunisian wildcard Malek Jaziri 7-5, 6-1. Sixth seed Filip Krajinovic also lost to unseeded German Peter Gojowczyk, who will take on Italian Matteo Berrettini in the next round while eighth-seeded Spaniard Feliciano Lopez is set to face Bosnia's Mirza Basic.

Qatari Jabor Al-Mutawa was defeated by Italy's Stefano Travaglia, who will face either fourth-seeded Albert Ramos-Vinolas or Argentine Guido Pella. — Agencies


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