Great Britain’s hopes of reaching tomorrow’s final in the mixed-team Hopman Cup in Perth were finally ended today, despite a resounding victory over the home team in their final group game. In the end the result proved immaterial to their chances of qualifying, as group leaders Poland got the one rubber they needed against France to ensure it is they who will meet the United States in the final.

Andy Murray and Heather Watson knew that qualification was not in their own hands and their minimum requirement was to ensure that they overcame Australia in the last round robin match of the group stages, to give them any hope of reaching the final. They achieved their side of the ‘bargain’ with a 3-0 win, taking all three rubbers.

Murray wasted little time in overcoming Marinko Matosevic 6-3 6-2 to maintain his 100% singles’ record in the competition this year, which will have pleased him as his Australian Open preparations remain firmly on schedule after victory in Abu Dhabi last week.

Watson will have been delighted to finally take a singles’ match in the event, after two previous resounding defeats to the ladies from Poland and France, especially as her Australian opposition was higher ranked in the world than her currently. She proved too strong for Casey Dellacqua with a straight sets win 6-3 6-4, with the two singles’ victories between Murray and Watson ensuring that they would at least enjoy a winning end to their Hopman Cup week, no matter how the final rubber, the mixed-doubles turned out.

As it was, the pair also triumphed in the doubles with a relatively comfortable 7-5 6-1 scoreline. It wasn’t enough ultimately, but they will have enjoyed their time in their Australian surroundings over the week, with two wins and only one defeat a satisfactory return given the teams they were facing.

Poland confirmed their place in the final for the second year in a row thanks to Jerzy Janowicz’s singles’ triumph over France’s Benoit Paire. Alize Cornet had threatened to derail the Pole’s qualification by overcoming Agnieszka Radwanska in three sets in the women’s singles rubber, but as they only needed one rubber to progress that was sealed by Janowicz’s straight sets result.

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