Czech Republic beat France to win Hopman Cup
Perth: Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych produced some impeccable tennis to give the Czech Republic the Hopman Cup with a 2-0 win over France in the final on Saturday.
Wimbledon champion Kvitova saw off Marion Bartoli 7-5, 6-1 in the opening match and then Berdych defeated Richard Gasquet 7-6, 6-4 to take an unassailable lead in the tie.
With the result decided, the mixed doubles match did not go ahead.
"It couldn`t be better," Berdych told reporters. "It has been an extremely great week.”
"I need to congratulate Petra, she won all she could and I tried to add some winning of my own so we could be standing here with such a nice trophy. It was the best final we could have," he added.
World number two Kvitova could overtake Caroline Wozniacki at the top of the rankings if she wins the Sydney International next week and Berdych had no doubt the Dane was on borrowed time.
"She`s going to be number one," Berdych said of his team mate. "It`s a bit sad that she didn`t already make it last year but I think soon she is going to be number one.”
"She is second in the world and has just a small step to be number one. She has showed here that even though she wasn`t a hundred percent healthy, she still won all her singles matches. Just from my point of view, Petra`s standard of play is really high," Berdych added.
Both Czech players were unbeaten in singles matches during the mixed team competition at the Burswood Dome and are in great form with Australian Open starting on January 16.
Kvitova, however, was circumspect about her Australian Open prospects.
"Many of us can win. We will see. This has been a perfect week of preparation. It will be a very tough grand slam, as usual," she said.
Kvitova had trailed the gallant Bartoli 5-3 in the first set but hit a purple patch of scything first serves and booming forehands to win four straight games in front of a capacity crowd of 8,365.
The Czech swept through the second set for victory in one hour and 29 minutes.
Berdych gave a supreme demonstration of power hitting and although Gasquet fought as hard as he could, the Frenchman ended up throwing his hands in the air in exasperation.
World number seven Berdych controlled the majority of points with his customarily flat, deep groundstrokes and the second set risked being a whitewash until Gasquet recovered one of two service breaks he had conceded.
Apart from that glitch, Berdych was almost robotic in his execution in a match lasting one hour and 34 minutes.
He won the match with a cannon of a first serve down the middle.