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Australia's Hopman Cup over already

By Chris Pike
31 December 2013 07:02PM EST

AUSTRALIA'S chances of winning a second Hopman Cup title is over for another year with Sam Stosur and Bernard Tomic losing the women's singles and mixed doubles to Italy on Tuesday.

Australia has won the Hopman Cup in Perth just once when Jelena Dokic and Mark Philippoussis prevailed in 1999 and that won't be changing this time around again.

Stosur and Tomic both lost their singles matches on Saturday night against Canada's Eugenie Bouchard and Milos Raonic to immediately put their tournament on the back foot, but they ensured the final wasn’t completely out of reach by winning the mixed doubles against the Canadians.

That meant that the Australian pair had to comprehensively beat Italy on Tuesday at the Perth Arena, but that didn’t happen.

The tie began with the women's singles pitting the world No. 18 Stosur against Italy's world No. 31 Flavia Pennetta.

The Italian, who made a stirring run at the US Open reaching the semi finals, had won her four previous meeting against Stosur and continued on that momentum winning the opening set 6-4.

Things were a lot tighter in the second set with things tied up at four games apiece with Stosur on serve, but the Australian served three double-faults in that game to hand it to Pennetta and she served out the match, to win it 6-4, 6-4.

The pressure was then all on Tomic in the men's singles up against Italian world No. 25 Andreas Seppi.

Seppi wasn’t able to finish his opening day singles match against Poland's Grzegorz Panfil and didn’t play in the mixed doubles, but Tomic also barely played his second set on Saturday night against Canada's Raonic losing it 6-1.

After turning it up in the second set against Raonic in his opening match of the tournament, all eyes were on how Tomic handled the situation again after Seppi managed to win the first set 6-4.

There were again some petulant and lazy signs from Tomic, but he did continue to fight on this occasion and managed to win the final two sets 6-3, 6-2 over Seppi to force the tie into a deciding mixed doubles.

However, the Italian pair of Pennetta and Seppi proved far too good in the mixed doubles winning 6-3, 6-4 to end Australia's hopes of making the Hopman Cup final.

Italy will need a massive three-nil upset win over Canada on Thursday and need Australia to also thump Poland on Thursday night to be any hope of still qualifying for Saturday's final.

The next action at the Hopman Cup at the Perth Arena will now take place on Wednesday night when the USA's Sloane Stephens and John Isner take on France's Alize Cornet and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

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