It was Greece that closed first: With Maria Sakkari’s success over Viktorya Tomova at the RAC Arena in Perth, the team led by Stefanos Tsitsipas immediately closed accounts with Bulgaria. Thus Gracia Bulgaria finished the opening match of the North American Championship with a score of 3-0 Group A First to finish in the history of the newly formed WTA Mixed event. Dimitar Kozmanov’s subsequent victory over Mikhail Pervoularakis is irrelevant: 6-3, 6-2 at world No. 6 over a very fragile Greece with second lines but potentially guaranteeing the three points needed to win matches. The singles of Tsitsipas and Sakkari herself and the mixed ones, always with Stefanos and Maria on the field.
And from Group A in Perth, Belgium led by David Goffin and Elise Mertens who will play their first match tomorrow and then against Bulgaria. The Greeks are waiting as favorites for the confrontation that may lead them first in the group to the quarter-finals, between Monday and Tuesday.
Sydney also didn’t need to reach the mixed doubles final to decide the Group C match between the USA and the Czech Republic. A 2-0 lead after the first day over the Americans to watch Great performance by Petra Kvitova Who came the distance after eliminating 7 points from Jessica Pegula before winning the first set in a tie-break. The first game, which lasted 1 hour and 20 minutes, featured response dominance with consecutive breaks and rebounds to make it 4-4. Pegula managed to “break her serve” when she held her turn at 4-5 and saved 6 set points. Kvitova eliminated 3 when her opponent went to serve 6-5 40-0. Then the Czech, formerly world number 2 and now number 16, rallied from 1-5 down in the tiebreaker, making 4 more set-piece saves. After finishing the first game in her favour, Kvitova cruised 3-0 and then kept the game deadlock in her grip to finish 7-6 (6) 6-4.
Responsibility for closing the accounts has now passed to Francis Tiafoe, No. 19, opposite Thomas Meshack, No. 97. The 24-year-old from Hyattsville, originally from Sierra Leone, is making a good start, very quick on the pitch and able to swap real forward trackers with short, very soft balls. Trailing 6-3 in the first set, he gave space to his opponent, a promising 22-year-old from Beron (a town 30 kilometers from Prague) who took a 3-0 lead and seemed able to take the match into the third set. However, at 4-2, the unfortunate Thomas sprained his right ankle and, after consulting a doctor, decided to retire so as not to risk exacerbating the situation which saw him able to leave the field on his own. Tiafoo hugged him and breathed a sigh of relief.
The United States departs under the leadership of Group C in SydneyWhich also includes Germany’s returning Alexander Zverev. The first test for the German player and his colleagues will be held tomorrow, and after the Czech Republic, the match between America and Germany is scheduled to take place on Monday and Tuesday. The winner of the group will face off in the first quarter-final of Group D in Perth, which includes Australia, Great Britain and Spain. Needless to say, however, the top-level quarter-finals loomed large.
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