France beats Australia in Hopman Cup

Marion Bartoli left her opponent in tears Tuesday after a 6-0, 6-0 rout in the Hopman Cup put France on the way to victory over Australia.

Bartoli needed only 50 minutes to beat Jarmila Gajdosova, finishing off the match with her 12th ace.

“I’m sorry I beat her that way but I was just focusing on my own game and not looking at the scoreboard,” Bartoli said. “She’s so talented and she’s a lovely lady and when I saw her in tears it was really heartbreaking. But I can’t really miss a shot just for (the sake of) missing the shot.”

It was the first shutout at the Hopman Cup since Liz Smylie of Australia was beaten by the same score in 1991 by Swiss opponent Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere. Smylie was doing television commentary for Tuesday’s Gajdosova-Bartoli match.

“Dear fans … I am really sorry for today,” Gajdosova said on Twitter. “I can’t explain what happened.”

Later, Richard Gasquet clinched the victory for France at the eight-team Hopman Cup by beating Lleyton Hewitt 6-2, 5-7, 6-1. Bartoli and Gasquet made it a 3-0 sweep when they beat Gajdosova and Hewitt 6-3, 6-4 in mixed doubles.

It was Gasquet’s first career singles victory over Hewitt in his third attempt.

“It’s always tough to beat him … he’s a great warrior and a champion,” Gasquet said. “He knows tennis. I’ve been watching him from when I was a child so it was a good victory for me.”

Spain also won its second match in the competition, beating China 2-1. Spain and France play each other on Thursday, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s final from Group B.

Australia and China have each lost twice.

Anabel Medina Garrigues and Fernando Verdasco of Spain were nearly perfect in mixed doubles, beating Li Na and Wu Di 6-0, 6-2 to clinch their earlier victory over China. Verdasco beat Wu 6-3, 6-4 in singles after Li gave the Chinese a 1-0 lead with a 6-3, 6-1 win over Medina Garrigues.

Verdasco arrived in Perth after a short break following Spain’s Davis Cup win in December, then beat Hewitt in his opening singles match Sunday.

On Tuesday, Verdasco took a 4-1 lead in the first set but struggled at times against the 20-year-old Wu.

“I think that he’s a talented player … he has very fast hands,” Verdasco said. “I saw him practice when I was in China playing the Asian Tour last year.”

He said he and Medina Garrigues were improving gradually in mixed doubles.

“We are playing every day better and against France hopefully we’ll play even better,” Verdasco said “I think after each match you know each other more and more of what is good to do and not.”

Denmark plays Bulgaria and the Czech Republic takes on the United States in Group A play Wednesday, with Denmark and the Czech Republic going for their second straight wins.


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