TENNIS

Spain through to Hopman Cup final

Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina to play top seeds Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic

Fernando Verdasco returns to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in a group match. / TONY ASHBY (AFP)

Spain reached the final of the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia late on Thursday with a round robin win over the USA to wrap up an undefeated run and the leadership of Group B, which also contained France and South Africa.

Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina progressed through a touch group containing Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Venus Williams and Kevin Anderson but were spared the exocet serves of John Isner after the American withdrew with injury. He was replaced by Australian standby Thanasi Kokkinakis, with all the completed matches marked as 6-0 in favor of Spain.

Verdasco and Medina will battle for the title with the top seeds, Serbia's world number one Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic in the final on Saturday. Serbia also topped its group unbeaten, defeating Italy, Australia and Germany en route the showpiece tie. Winner of the 2010 Davis Cup, Serbia has never lifted the Hopman trophy. Spain won it the same year, represented by Tommy Robredo and María José Martínez. Arantxa Sánchez Vicario won it twice, partnered by Robredo in 2002 and her brother Emilio in 1990.

Meanwhile in Doha, David Ferrer lost his semifinal match against Russia's Nikolay Davydenko 6-2, 6-3 in a little over an hour. No Spaniard has won the Doha title in its 20 years of existence. The last Spanish player to reach the final was Rafa Nadal in 2010, where he was also beaten by Davydenko.

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