Perth: Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic led Serbia into the Hopman Cup final, winning their singles matches on Friday over Germany. Djokovic beat Tommy Haas 6-2, 6-0, while Ivanovic lost only 15 points in defeating Tatjana Malek 6-0, 6-1. The Serbs will face Spain in Saturday's final.
"It's been a great performance from beginning to the end," Djokovic said. "I was really focused from the start and I just felt drastically better than in the first few days." Djokovic took a 4-0 lead in the first set but was broken by Haas in the fifth game. The German held his serve for the only time in the match in the next game. Haas had three break points when trailing 2-0 in the second set but he couldn't convert.
"Right now I believe I am where I need to be," Djokovic said. "Still not 100 percent, physically also, but I'm getting there. We're still working on some things in particular that will make me feel 100 percent for Melbourne in 10 days."
In mixed doubles, Haas withdrew, citing a toe injury. In the women's match, Ivanovic didn't face a break point against Malek, who had been brought in to replace the injured Andrea Petkovic after the first of the round robin matches. "I didn't do much wrong," Ivanovic said. "I really put my head down to work hard for this match and from the first moment I stepped on the court I really put a lot of pressure on her. I was really dominating and striking the ball well."
Earlier, South Africa beat France 2-1 when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had to retire in the deciding mixed doubles match with a left hamstring injury Neither team had a chance of advancing to the final. Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa beat Mathilde Johansson 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 before Tsonga defeated Kevin Anderson 7-6 (4), 7-6 (3), including winning the final five points of the first-set tiebreaker. During the singles match, Tsonga injured his leg while stretching for a shot.
Tsonga also withdrew from next week's Sydney International. His retirement was a precaution to ensure he doesn't worsen the problem before the Australian Open, which begins in Melbourne on Jan. 14th.