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Australia ease past Canada in Hopman Cup opener

Published: Updated:

Daria Gavrilova beat Eugenie Bouchard in straight sets but Thanasi Kokkinakis was made to work harder to edge out Vasek Pospisil and give Australia a winning start to their Hopman Cup campaign against Canada on Sunday.

Gavrilova gave the hosts a flying start in the round robin stage of the eight-nation mixed team event, beating former world number five Bouchard 6-1 6-4 at the Perth Arena.

The nimble-footed Australian raced to a 5-0 lead in the opener but faced more of a challenge in the next, despite claiming the first three games of the second set against the Canadian.

Gavrilova held firm as Bouchard mounted a comeback attempt, saving three break points at 3-2 before sealing the straight-sets victory.

“The first set was great but I definitely felt some nerves at the end. I was going for it all too much. It bodes well and it was nice to win again,” the world number 25 told reporters.

“I was very happy with the start. I was very physical from the beginning, made it tough for her out there from the very first point.”

Kokkinakis needed to take a longer route for his 6-4 3-6 6-3 triumph.

After dropping the opener, Pospisil dug deep to force a decider and went toe-to-toe with the Australian until the sixth game when he staved off three break points before Kokkinakis capitalised on the fourth to make the vital breakthrough.