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Slovakia, France Make Hopman Final

January 9, 1998

PERTH, Australia (AP) _ Cedric Pioline assured France of a berth against Slovakia in the Hopman Cup final with a straight-set victory over South African Wayne Ferreira today.

Pioline’s 7-6 (8-6), 6-3 win gave France an unbeatable 2-0 lead over last year’s runner-up. Earlier, Mary Pierce beat Amanda Coetzer 6-3, 6-3.

The French pair won the mixed doubles 6-4, 7-6 (7-4), completing the 3-0 sweep.

Slovakia had advanced to Saturday’s final by beating Australia Thursday.

Pierce lost the opening set of her first match to Germany’s Anke Huber on Tuesday, but has since lost only 16 games in six sets.

In another match Friday, the United States scored its first win in three matches, beating Germany 2-1.

Huber beat Chanda Rubin 6-3, 6-1, giving Germany the early lead. Jonathan Stark defeated Tommy Haas 7-6 (7-4), 6-7 (3-7), 6-4 to tie the match. Stark and Rubin then won the mixed doubles 6-3, 6-4.

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