Spain shock Serbia to win the Hopman Cup 2-1
Novak Djokovic and Ana Ivanovic have been beaten in the final of the Hopman Cup by the Spanish duo of Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues.
Djokovic, the world number one, came from 3-0 down in the second set to beat 24th-ranked Verdasco 6-3 7-5 and give Serbia a 1-0 lead in Perth.
Ivanovic was then beaten 6-4 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 by Medina Garrigues, ranked 37 places lower than her in the world.
The Spanish pair then combined to win the mixed doubles 6-4 7-5.
It was a fourth win for Spain, who previously won the tournament in 2010, 2002 and 1990.
Following Djokovic's victory, world number 13 Ivanovic was odds-on to give Serbia their first victory in the tournament.
She started well and broke serve early in the first set but Medina Garrigues, who suffered a back problem early in the tournament, broke back and then took the first set.
Ivanovic then called for the trainer early in the second set, but still managed to level at one set all.
“We were unfortunate last time, this time we were beaten by a better team”
Medina Garrigues, 30, eventually took the match after two hours and 38 minutes and immediately ranked the victory as one of the best of her career.
"Winning the Roland Garros doubles [in 2008 and 2009] was exciting also, but here I didn't expect to be in the final and then win, so I am really happy," she said.
Despite the marathon match the pair were soon back on court for the deciding mixed doubles rubber.
The Spaniards had the edge when it came to doubles experience and it showed as they won in straight sets to take the tie overall.
Verdasco paid tribute to the efforts of his team-mate: "She won three singles matches and she played really good in the mixed.
"Today Anabel was unbelievable."
It was the third time Djokovic and Ivanovic had played together after previously teaming up in 2006 and 2011 but they were forced to pull out of the final two-years ago after Ivanovic suffered an abdominal injury.
"We were unfortunate last time, this time we were beaten by a better team," added Djokovic, who will be chasing his third successive Australian Open title at Melbourne Park from 14 January.