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India win Asian Hopman Cup


Posted: Nov 27, 2006 at 1354 hrs IST

India won the inaugural Asian Hopman Cup on Sunday, sweeping aside Taiwan 3-0 in the final of the mixed team event.

The victory earned them earn a wildcard into the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia, from Dec. 30 to Jan. 5 when they will compete in Group B with Spain, Czech Republic and Croatia.

Group A comprises Germany, United States, Australia and Russia.

Sania Mirza gave the hosts a good start in her hometown, beating I-Hsuan Hwang 6-2 6-4 in 82 minutes.

Rohan Bopanna defeated Ti Chen 6-3 6-4 in 74 minutes. The Indian pair then won the mixed doubles opening set 6-1 before the opposition conceded the match.

Mirza, who enjoyed a breakthrough in 2005 when she became the first Indian to claim a WTA title and reach the top 50 in the rankings, said the event had given her useful practice ahead of the Asian Games, which open on Friday.

The 20-year-old Mirza is hoping to win the mixed doubles gold in Doha with multiple grand slam winner Leander Paes.

The pair won a bronze medal in the 2002 Asian Games in South Korea.

"I expect Doha to be tougher but it was good to play some matches in between to fine tune one's game," Mirza said.

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