Spain book place in Hopman Cup final after defeat of hosts
SPAIN booked their place in the Hopman Cup final with a 3-0 defeat of Australia.
INSPIRING: Tommy Robredo praises partner Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez as the Spaniards book their place in the Hopman Cup final (Getty Images)
The hosts needed to win all three rubbers in straight sets to reach the final but their hopes were quickly stamped out as Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez continued her perfect record in Perth, to defeat world number 13 Samantha Stosur 6-4, 6-1.
Tommy Robredo then raced past Lleyton Hewitt in straight sets before the Spaniards teamed up to add salt into the Australians' wounds and take the mixed doubles rubber on a Champions Tie-Break.
Robredo, who lifted the Hopman Cup title with Arantxa Sanchez Vicario in 2002, was full of praise for his 27-year old partner after their 6-3, 3-6, 10-7 victory and insisted Martinez Sanchez's form in Perth had inspired him to raise his own game.
"Maria has been fantastic all week," said Robredo, who prevailed 6-2, 6-4 against a below-par Hewitt.
"She serves and volleys with quick hands and obviously is great to have as a partner.
"If she is playing that good, we are very close to winning so I have to keep on going and doing my best as well."
In the final game on Thursday, USA defeated Romania 3-0 to claim their first win of the tournament.
Melanie Oudin, who had failed to win a set in her previous matches against Stosur and Martinez Sanchez, defeated world number 45 Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-3 before the Americans were awarded the final two rubbers when Victor Hanescu withdrew with a knee injury.
Britain's Laura Robson and Andy Murray face Russia on Friday, knowing a third win would guarantee them a place in the final.