Aussies' Hopman Cup campaign off to flyer
TENNIS: Australia have got off to a perfect start with singles wins for Daria Gavrilova and Thanasi Kokkinakis in the Hopman Cup in Perth.
A straight-sets 6-1 6-4 win for Gavrilova over Eugenie Bouchard and a three-sets success for Kokkinakis over Vasek Pospisil 6-4 3-6 6-3 gave the Australians an unassailable 2-0 lead over the Canadians.
"It's nice to be back and playing competitive matches once again,” Gavrilova said.
"The first set was great, but I definitely felt some nerves at the end, I was going for it all too much. It bodes well and it was nice to win again.”
Gavrilova was in sparkling form in the first set, taking a 5-0 lead.
"I was very happy with the start,” the world No.25 said.
"I was very physical from the beginning, made it tough for her out there from the very first point.”
It was a bit closer in the second set as the Canadian managed to find some rhythm after the home player took a 3-0 lead in the second set.
Gavrilova managed to fend off three break point chances at 3-2 and a piercing backhand pass provided the catalyst to close out the match in style.
The home favourite was delighted to have edged out the match in straight sets.
"I was telling myself 'this is a good test, you're going to have to do this so many times all year',” Gavrilova said.
Kokkinakis, who has struggled with injury in the past couple of years, showed some nice form over the experienced Pospisil.
Australia next plays on Wednesday night against Belgium.
The Belgian team is made up of world No.7 David Goffin and Elise Mertens.
Meanwhile, Sam Stosur's summer of tennis started in the worst possible way, with a straight-sets loss to Latvian Anna Sevastova in the Brisbane International.
Stosur, who is now ranked 41 in the world after injuries and a poor run of form, lost 1-6 3-6 to the seventh seed in their opening round clash at Pat Rafter Arena.