REUTERS – Nick Kyrgios continued his impressive run of form ahead of this month’s Australian Open by powering the host nation to the mixed-team Hopman Cup title against Ukraine in Perth on Saturday.
Kyrgios and Daria Gavrilova, playing for Australia Green, one of two teams representing the host nation, won their singles matches in straight sets against Alexandr Dolgopolov and Elina Svitolina respectively.
Kyrgios, who defeated world number two Briton Andy Murray during his four-match winning run this week, brushed aside the challenge from Dolgopolov 6-3 6-4 after the 36th-ranked Gavrilova had opened with a 6-4 7-6(6) win over Svitolina.
Australia’s only previous Hopman Cup title came in 1999 while the last time they reached the final was 13 years ago.
The victories at the Perth event will boost the confidence of world number 30 Kyrgios as he prepares for the first grand slam of the season beginning in Melbourne on Jan. 18.
The 20-year-old took the first set against Dolgopolov in 26 minutes before an early break in the second allowed him to cruise to victory.
Kyrgios dedicated the win to Australian coach Darren Tandy, who died last month of colon cancer.
“It means a lot. It’s my first real title that I’ve won,” Kyrgios said.
“It’s the perfect way to start off the year. I haven’t lost a match yet. I’m riding a lot of confidence going into the Aussie summer. I’m just really happy.”
(Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by John O’Brien and Clare Fallon)