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U.S. Team Wins Hopman Cup Title

January 10, 2004

PERTH, Australia (AP) _ The American team of Lindsay Davenport and James Blake won the Hopman Cup championship Saturday with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Slovakia in the decisive mixed doubles match.

Davenport put the United States on track for consecutive titles with a 6-3, 6-1 singles win over Daniela Hantuchova. But Slovakia’s Karol Kucera came from 3-0 down in the third set to beat Blake 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (5), tying the final 1-1.

Blake, who teamed with Serena Williams to win the tournament last year, and Davenport dominated in mixed doubles before a capacity crowd of 8,500 to give the Americans a 2-1 win and the title.

It was the United States’ third championship in 16 Hopman Cups, the most by any nation.

Davenport, a former Australian Open champion, had 12 aces and beat Hantuchova in 51 minutes. It was Blake’s first singles loss in the tournament this year.

Slovakia advanced to the final when Australia, which finished first in its group, had to withdraw due to Alicia Molik’s foot injury. Belgium, also in Slovakia’s group, had to pull out on Wednesday because of a similar injury to Kim Clijsters.

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