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S. Africa Beats U.S. at Hopman Cup

January 5, 1998

PERTH, Australia (AP) _ Amanda Coetzer, who lost in singles to American Chanda Rubin, teamed with Wayne Ferriera in mixed doubles today to give South Africa a 2-1 victory over the United States at the Hopman Cup tennis tournament.

The South African team beat Rubin and Jonathan Stark, a late replacement for injured Justin Gimelstob, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 to clinch the win.

In today’s other match, Spain beat Slovakia 2-1.

The Americans opened strong against South Africa with a win, when Rubin beat Coetzer 6-4, 6-3, in the opening match for her seventh win in eight matches at the Hopman Cup. Ferreira evened the score, coming from a set down to defeat Stark 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

``I started off slowly in the beginning, it’s always tough for the first match,″ Ferreira said. ``In the end I played well. For the first match of the year I was very pleased.″

Despite winning easily, Rubin was not impressed with her start to the new year and said her service game needed work.

``I wasn’t quite there,″ Rubin said. ``I’ll need to get my first serve percentage up if I want to compete as well as I need to at the Australian Open.″

In Spain’s opening match, Arantxa Sanchez Vicario beat Karina Habsudova 6-2, 6-3, and teamed with Carlos Moya to beat Habsudova and Karol Kucera 7-6 (7-3), 6-1. Kucera defeated Moya 7-5, 6-4.

``I was very lucky because I was with one of the best doubles players in the world,″ Moya said of Sanchez Vicario. ``She played better than me. It was a surprise the way she played _ I didn’t expect her to play that good.″

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