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Czech Republic wins first Hopman Cup match, beats Spain

Czech Republic wins first Hopman Cup match, beats Spain

Singles victories by Lucie Safarova and Tomas Berdych helped give the Czech Republic a 2-1 win over Spain in their Hopman Cup team tennis match Wednesday, evening their tournament record at 1-1.
Safarova beat Anabel Medina Garrigues of Spain 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 while Berdych defeated Tommy Robredo 7-5, 6-1. With the result decided, Spain came back in the mixed doubles, beating Safarova and Berdych 7-5, 6-2.
India upset the Czechs in their opening match on Sunday while Spain, which beat Croatia on Sunday, is at 1-1 after two matches in Group B.
In a later Group B match Wednesday, Sania Mirza gave India a 1-0 lead over Croatia with a 6-2, 6-3 win over Sanja Anic. A men's singles and mixed doubles match were to follow.
"I've played in front of big crowds before, and I think that helped me," Mirza said of the support from a large number of flag-waving Indian fans at the Burswood Dome.
In Group A on Thursday, France, 2-0, plays Russia, 1-1, while Australia, 1-1, takes on the United States, 0-2. Australian Nathan Healey will replace Mark Philippoussis, who is out for at least four to six weeks with a knee cartilage injury that requires surgery.
Group B teams also play again Thursday, with the Czech Republic taking on Croatia and India playing Spain. The leading teams in each group advance to Friday's final.
Berdych said he had been inspired by the form of his girlfriend Safarova in the opening match, which enabled him to repeat the result he achieved over Robredo at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
"The first set was so tough, we started the first game and it was so long that I thought we were going to be here until midnight," Berdych said.
"But (Lucie) was playing fantastic, she won a tough match and that helped me go to the court with confidence."
Despite hitting 60 unforced errors in her match, Safarova was also able to convert four of nine break points.