Hopman Cup: France win for the first time after clinching victory in the doubles
Last Updated: 04/01/14 5:06pm
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga celebrates victory in the singles
France clinched the Hopman Cup title when Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Alize Cornet won the deciding mixed doubles match against Polish pair Agnieszka Radwanska and Grzegorz Panfil in Perth.
Tsonga had earlier seen off Panfil before Radwanska levelled following a marathon three-setter in the women's singles.
But Cornet dusted herself off to team up with Tsonga and take the doubles emphatically 6-0 6-2, giving them victory in the tournament for the first time.
Tsonga had given France the lead when beating 288th-ranked Grzegorz Panfil, a late replacement for Jerzy Janowicz in the Polish team, 6-3 3-6 6-3.
Despite the huge difference in their ranking Tsonga had his hands full against the plucky Pole, who saved 12 of the 14 break points he had against him.
By contrast, Panfil converted his sole break point of the match in the ninth game of the second set and it was enough to bring him level.
But Tsonga was dominant on serve in the decider and got the break he needed to seal victory.
Radwanska then squared the tie with a gruelling win over Cornet in two hours and 33 minutes, 6-3 6-7 6-2.
The world No 5 held match point in an 80-minute second set but Cornet clung on and levelled on her fifth set point.
But the Frenchwoman had nothing left in the decider, at one stage incurring a time penalty as she struggled to regain her breath following yet another long rally.
It meant Radwanska was able to rally in the final set to take it to a deciding doubles rubber.