U.S. DEFEATS JAPAN
AT 2018 HOPMAN CUP
Ashley Marshall | January 3, 2018
Team USA maintained its challenge for the 2018 Hopman Cup by defeating Japan in Perth on Tuesday to move one win away from making consecutive appearances in the final.
The U.S. duo of Jack Sock and Coco Vandeweghe toppled Naomi Osaka and Yuichi Sugita, 2-1, to improve to 2-0 in the round-robin stage of the competition.
Osaka was forced to withdraw with illness prior to her singles match against world No. 10 Vandeweghe, giving the American a 6-0, 6-0 walkover. Local Australian teen Madison Inglis stepped in to play an exhibition against Vandeweghe, who prevailed 7-5, 6-2.
In the men’s singles match, Sock retired at 1-1 in the second set with a hip injury sustained during a fall earlier in his match against Sugita, having dropped the opening set in a tiebreak.
With Osaka unable to compete in doubles – and having pulled out of both of her singles and doubles matches prior to Sock's retirement – the doubles rubber was awarded to the U.
S., 4-0, 4-0.
With neither nation able to field its nominated doubles pairing, Vandeweghe teamed up with coach and Aussie fan favorite Pat Cash in a second exhibition match of the day against Inglis and Sugita, who rallied to a 0-4, 4-3, 4-0 triumph.
The U.S. victory over Japan sets up a pivotal showdown against the Swiss duo of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic, who teamed together to sweep Russia.
Both the U.S. and the Swiss are 2-0 atop Group B, meaning the winner of Thursday’s final group match will advance to the championship against the winner of Group A, which features Germany, Australia, Canada and Belgium.
Sock and Federer will face off in the men’s singles match, with the Swiss world No. 2 having never dropped a set against the American in four previous encounters. Vandeweghe is scheduled to play Bencic for the fourth time in her career. The American won their most recent matchup in Doha in February 2016 after splitting two matches in 2013.
The order of the singles matches will be determined Wednesday. The mixed doubles match will be the third and final match and could decide which team advances to Saturday’s final.
Sock and Vandeweghe teamed to reach the final in 2017, falling to Richard Gasquet and Kristina Mladenovic of France.