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Czech Republic win the Hopman Cup

Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during their 2012 Hopman Cup tennis final in Perth
Tomas Berdych of Czech Republic returns a shot to Richard Gasquet of France during their 2012 Hopman Cup tennis final in Perth

By Will Swanton

PERTH (Reuters) - Petra Kvitova and Tomas Berdych produced some impeccable tennis to give the Czech Republic the Hopman Cup with a 2-0 win over France in the final Saturday.

Wimbledon champion Kvitova saw off Marion Bartoli 7-5 6-1 in the opening match and then Berdych defeated Richard Gasquet 7-6 6-4 to take an unassailable lead in the tie.

With the result decided, the mixed doubles match did not go ahead.

"It couldn't be better," Berdych told reporters. "It has been an extremely great week.

"I need to congratulate Petra, she won all she could and I tried to add some winning of my own so we could be standing here with such a nice trophy. It was the best final we could have," he added.

The Czech pair were unbeaten in singles matches during the mixed team competition at the Burswood Dome and are in great form with Australian Open starting on January 16.

"It's a great way to start the season," said world number two Kvitova who could overtake Denmark's Caroline Wozniacki at the top of the rankings if she wins the Sydney International next week.

"Tomas played unbelievably well and it has been an honor to play with him. I played my best against Marion today."

Kvitova had trailed the gallant Bartoli 5-3 in the first set but hit a purple patch of scything first serves and booming forehands to win four straight games in front of a capacity crowd of 8,365.

The Czech swept through the second set for victory in one hour and 29 minutes.

Her team mate Berdych gave a supreme demonstration of power hitting and although Gasquet fought as hard as he could, the Frenchman ended up throwing his hands in the air in exasperation.

World number seven Berdych controlled the majority of points with his customarily flat, deep groundstrokes and the second set risked being a whitewash until Gasquet recovered one of two service breaks he had conceded.

Apart from that glitch, Berdych was almost robotic in his execution in a match lasting one hour and 34 minutes.

He won the match with a cannon of a first serve down the middle.

(Editing By Alison Wildey)

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