PERTH, Australia (AP) – Tommy Robredo upset Jan-Michael Gambill, then teamed with Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario to win the mixed doubles as Spain defeated the United States on Saturday to capture the Hopman Cup championship.
Down a match point to the No. 21 ranked player in the world, the 19-year-old Robredo rallied to defeat Gambill 6-3, 2-6, 7-6 (2) to even the best-of-three final at 1.
Monica Seles, who first won the event for her native Yugoslavia in 1991 as an 18-year-old, gave the Americans a 1-0 lead by defeating Sanchez-Vicario 6-1, 7-6 (6).
When Sanchez-Vicario smashed a forehand down the line past Gambill to secure the mixed doubles 6-4, 6-2, she claimed another Hopman trophy to go with the one she won as an 18-year-old with brother Emilio 12 years ago.
Tournament director Paul McNamee said it was the promise of playing alongside Robredo that convinced Sanchez-Vicario to make the trip to Perth.
“He is a future star, he’s young, he’s talented and when I told Arantxa he’d be playing she immediately agreed,” he said.
“She told me then the kid was good and he proved it here. He can really play.”
A tense Gambill double faulted on match point at 5-4 to bring the score to deuce and then lost his next service point to give Robredo a break point.
When the Spaniard chased down a seemingly impossible Gambill drop shot to win the point and level the set at 5-all, the American lost his nerve and smashed his racket.