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Schiavone fights back for Italy
Francesca Schiavone in action against Tatjana Malek in the Hopman Cup today. Picture: Getty Images

Italy’s Francesca Schiavone has beaten German Tatjana Malek in three sets to level the Hyundai Hopman Cup tie 1-1 at Perth Arena.

Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, fought back to close out a gritty 3-6 6-3 6-3 victory in 114 minutes against the German.

Malek arrived in Perth about 2am today after answering an SOS from tournament organisers to replace injured German star Andrea Petkovic.

Petkovic, who has already flown back to Germany for knee surgery, was injured against Australia’s Ashleigh Barty during Saturday night’s tie.

Malek flew from Miami and after less than 12 hours sleep, predictably started sluggishly against Schiavone.

The 25-year-old lost the first three games before finding her range, rattling off eight consecutive games to take the first set and an early break in the second set.

Schiavone regained her composure, winning 10 of the next 12 games, to clinch the second set and open up a commanding 4-1 lead in the deciding set.

Earlier comeback king Tommy Haas beat Andreas Seppi in two tiebreak sets to give the Germans the perfect start in today’s Hyundai Hopman Cup tie against Italy at Perth arena.

Haas, the ATP comeback Player of the Year in 2012, claimed the match 7-6 (3) 7-6 (7) in j115 minutes.

It was a tight battle, the only two breaks of serve coming in the ninth and 10th games of the match.

Haas bounced back after losing his opening encounter of Hopman Cup against Australia’s Bernard Tomic 7-6 (6) 3-6 7-5 on Saturday.

The West Australian

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