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Australia won the deciding mixed doubles match in the opening day of the Hopman Cup to get a 2-1 lead over Belgium in the Hyundai Hopman Cup XXIII. In the mixed doubles event, Australian pair of Alicia Molik and Lleyton Hewitt defeated the Belgians Justine Henin and Ruben Bemelman with a 1-6 6-3 10-8 scoreline to give a good start and 2-1 lead to their country.
In the first match of the opening day, Justine Henin registered an easy victory over Alicia Molik in straight sets with a 6-4 6-4 scoreline.
But, Lleyton Hewitt showed some glimpses of his past form to level up the proceedings for Australia, as he earned his first victory since September by beating Belgium's Ruben Bemelmans in straight sets with a 6-4 6-3 scoreline and forced the tie and took the duels in a deciding mixed doubles match.
Though, Bemelmans broke Hewitt in the first game of the match, but the Australian fought hard and broke back the Belgians in the next game and finally prevailed in straight sets.
After the match, Hewitt quoted, "It's always tough the first match of the year.” He further added that “It doesn't matter how many practice sets you play out there, getting that match toughness back isn't easy. I'm just happy to get through in straight sets being down break points and getting out of those situations, that's stuff you can't buy. He's a difficult opponent; he's a big ball striker and his backhand's improved since I played him in the Davis Cup last time.”
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