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Williams unbeaten in Perth but sans trophy

Team USA did not make the final of the Hopman Cup in Perth, but former world No.1 Serena Williams won her third singles' match on Thursday.

Williams unbeaten in Perth but sans trophy

Team USA did not make the final of the Hopman Cup in Perth, but former world No.1 Serena Williams won her third singles' match on Thursday.

SERENA WILLIAMS of United States plays a backhand during her Ladies Final match of Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
SERENA WILLIAMS of United States plays a backhand during her Ladies Final match of Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. Picture:Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images

Serena Williams has signed off on her official Australian Open preparations with her third singles win at the Hopman Cup in Perth.

The US pairing of Williams and Frances Tiafoe failed to make it to Saturday's final though, having lost all three of their mixed doubles contests, but the former world No.1 got through her return to tennis despite carrying a few niggles.


The 23-times grand slam champion is on the comeback trail, having not played in a WTA tournament since losing the US Open final to Naomi Osaka. Her only match since then was a one-off exhibition match against her sister, Venus, in Abu Dhabi last month.

With the Australian Open only 11 days away, Williams was far from her best on Thursday, but beat Great Britain youngster Katie Boulter 6-1 7-6 (7-2) in 78 minutes.

She seemed to struggle with her right shoulder throughout the week and stretched it out a couple of times early against Boulter. But her right ankle, which she had strapped during practice, does not appear to be troubling her.

Boulter, ranked 97 in the world, frequently won points on the Williams serve and broke it in the second set. But she was outclassed by Williams in the tiebreak.

Williams, now ranked 16, sent down 20 winners and 19 unforced errors and clearly already has her focus set on Melbourne Park.

"It was perfect; it's just like this in Melbourne. It's the exact same sun and it gives me so many problems," she said.

"After you serve, you are blind for the next two points.

"It was good to play three matches here, singles, not to mention the mixed doubles."

Williams dropped a set to Switzerland's Belinda Bencic on Tuesday, but beat Maria Sakkari of Greece in straight sets on Monday.

Cameron Norrie overcame a slow start to beat Tiafoe 7-6 (7-5) 6-0 in the men's singles rubber on Thursday. Norrie breezed through the second set to win in just 69 minutes.

Great Britain won the live mixed doubles rubber 3-4 (5-2) 4-3 (5-4) 4-1, but the result had no bearing on the tournament.

The Swiss pair of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic are favoured to finish on top of Group B and progress to the final on Saturday where they will defend the title they won last summer.

AAP


AAP




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