January 5, 2018 / 6:00 PM / in 2 months

Fiery Kerber helps Germany set up Hopman Cup final against Switzerland

(Reuters) - Angelique Kerber cruised past Daria Gavrilova before teaming up with Alexander Zverev to help Germany overcome Australia on Friday and set up an enticing Hopman Cup final against Switzerland.

Former world number one Kerber made short work of Gavrilova, beating the Australian 6-1 6-2 to give Germany the upper hand.

Australia levelled the tie after Thanasi Kokkinakis upset world number four Zverev 5-7 7-6(4) 6-4, leaving Germany facing a must-win mixed doubles match to progress to the final.

Kokkinakis helped Australia to win the first set of the doubles but Kerber maintained her fiery dominance to steer Germany to a 1-4 4-1 4-3(3) victory.

“Angie played unbelievable in both of her matches — she’s the reason we’re in the final,” Zverev said. “I‘m going to give all the credit to her. I didn’t play my best today — luckily I have an unbelievable partner.”

Earlier, Belgium whitewashed Canada 3-0 and were on course to reach the final as group winners before Germany’s victory led them to the top.

Elise Mertens beat Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard 6-4 6-4 to hand Belgium the advantage and David Goffin sealed the tie for the European side with a 6-2 6-4 win over Vasek Pospisil.

Germany last won the Hopman Cup in 1995 and in Saturday’s final they will face an all-conquering Swiss team with Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic yet to lose a match in the tournament.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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