Australia Faces Serb Onslaught

Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au, Picture: Michael Klein
Bernard Tomic will try to beat Novak Djokovic for the first time in Perth. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Michael Klein
Australia scored a slightly unexpected first-up win against Germany on Saturday night, but the home pairing will get a real test of its mettle against tournament favourite Serbia on Wednesday night.

Bernard Tomic got his summer off on the right foot when he scored a hard-fought three-set win over last year’s ATP Tour Comeback Player of the Year, Tommy Haas. Claiming the scalp of the German veteran will have given the Gold Coaster plenty of confidence, but standing on the opposite side of the net in his second round robin match will be world number one Novak Djokovic .

Djokovic has won all three encounters with Tomic, including their only clash on hardcourt last year in Toronto where he scored a 6-2 6-3 victory . The Serb easily accounted for Italian Andreas Seppi in his opening match winning in straight sets.

Ashleigh Barty was more than competitive in her Hopman Cup debut, pushing former world number nine Andrea Petkovic in the first set of their clash before going down 6-4. The injury-plagued German left the court in tears soon after, though, having been forced to retire with a knee injury. The forfeit handed Barty the match and Australia the tie 3-0.

Ana Ivanovic presents another major challenge for the teenager and she started the season in red-hot form thrashing former French Open champion Francesca Schiavone 6-0 6-4 . It improved her record in Perth to 5-2 and she should comfortably account for Barty who is on a major learning curve at this event. 

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