Vandeweghe gives USA perfect start at Hopman Cup

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PERTH, Australia (AP) CoCo Vandeweghe gave the United States an early lead in the opening tie of the 30th edition of the mixed team Hopman Cup event with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova on Saturday in Perth.

The tenth ranked Vandeweghe, who made the semifinals of both the Australian and US Open earlier this year, needed 96 minutes to defeat the 15th-ranked Pavlyuchenkova, breaking the Russian’s serve twice in each set.

Compatriot and world number eight Jack Sock is next on court playing 21-year-old Russian Karen Khachanov and will be looking to win the tie for the Americans in a tough Group B which includes a Roger Federer-led Switzerland and Japan.

The U.S. has claimed the Hopman Cup a record six times but neither Vendeweghe nor Sock has been in a winning team, with the duo losing to France at the last event.

Later Saturday, Switzerland’s Belinda Bencic plays Naomi Osaka of Japan, before world number two Federer faces Yuichi Sugita in his only event before launching his Australian Open title defense on Jan. 15.