Serena Williams’ seems determined to make yet more history by claiming her third Hopman Cup title in Perth, after clinching victory with her compatriot, John Isner in the mixed-team competition in their final group match. The Czech Republic went into the tie knowing that they only needed to win one of the three rubbers to qualify for Saturday’s final, but were unable to withstand the power from the two Americans and succumbed to a 3-0 defeat instead.

Williams has not enjoyed the easiest of weeks in the Australian heat so far, having lost as many sets in the singles as she has won, but managed to draw on her reserves once again to take the singles’ rubber against Lucie Safarova with a mammoth effort, 6-3 6-7 7-6. The final two sets went to tie-breaks, Williams losing the first disappointingly 7-1 but then taking the second one 8-6. It followed on from a three set victory over Flavia Pennetta and a thrashing at the hands of Canadian, Eugenie Bouchard in the previous group games.

Isner had few such problems in his singles’ match against a man ranked only 239 in the world, overcoming Adam Pavlasek 7-6 6-2, and firing down twenty aces. The match was over in 67 minutes as the American sought to push the tie to the decisive mixed-doubles match.

With the fate of qualification still hanging in the balance, the American pair were never in serious trouble in their doubles match, taking it 6-3 6-3 to progress to the final.

Williams has been struggling with fatigue during her last few singles’ matches but seemed full of energy at the end against Safarova, claiming she felt like she could still run 10km. She would have preferred a smoother ride no doubt, although the extra unexpected practise will probably serve her well in her acclimatisation for the pursuit of her 19th Grand Slam later in the month.

America topped the group thanks to the win and will now be chasing their seventh Hopman Cup title in the final, which will see them face one of either Poland, France or Great Britain, depending on the results of the final games in the other group.

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