Spain’s Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues have caused a massive upset to beat top-seeded Serbians Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic 2-1 in the Hyundai Hopman Cup final at Perth Arena.
No.4 seeds Medina Garrigues and Verdasco held their nerve to claim the deciding mixed doubles rubber 6-4 7-5.
Earlier Medina Garrigues kept Spain’s title hopes alive with a 6-4 6-7 (3) 6-2 victory over Ivanovic.
World No.1 Djokovic gave the Serbs a 1-0 lead with his 6-3 7-5 win against Verdasco in the opening rubber of the tie.
It was Spain’s fourth title success at Perth’s $1 million ITF mixed teams event after previous victories 1990, 2002 and 2010.
World No.13 Ivanovic made a whopping 46 unforced errors in the women’s singles with No.50 Medina Garrigues restricted to 16.
Ivanovic called for a trainer early in the second set, raising fears she might become the fifth player to pull out of the tournament.
She was able to play out the match but appeared to be inconvenienced by a stomach injury.
Djokovic won the first set in convincing fashion but was down 3-0 in the second before breaking back to clinch his match against Verdasco.
Verdasco, disappointing in earlier losses to South Africa’s Kevin Anderson and Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, played his best game of the week.
The flashy left-hander took the game right up to Djokovic but was ultimately no match for the world’s best player.
Medina Garrigues ranked the win up there with her doubles wins at the French Open in 2008 and 2009.
"Winning the Roland Garros doubles was exciting also, but here I didn't expect to be in the final and then win, so I am really happy," she said.
Verdasco paid tribute to the efforts of Medina Garrigues.
"She won three singles matches and she played really good in the mixed," he said. "Today Anabel was unbelievable."
It was a second near miss for the Serbian pair in Perth in two years: in 2011 they qualified for the final but were then forced out by an abdominal injury to Ivanovic.
"We were unfortunate last time, this time we were beaten by a better team," Djokovic said.