Aussies enjoy upset wins in Hopman Cup by Damien Bellemore

Australian pairing Bernard Tomic and Ashleigh Barty have performed admirably at this week’s Hopman Cup, both claiming resounding victories against highly-fancied opposition.

In a good sign for our local entrants at this month’s Australian Open, Tomic knocked off world-number one Novak Djokovic, while Barty enjoyed a win over 2010 French Open champion Francesca Schiavone.

Unfortunately Australia have not managed to win through to the final of the Perth event, which will be contested by Spain and Serbia but their respective straight-sets results will surely provide a huge confidence boost ahead of the year’s first grand slam.

At just 16 years of age and a diminutive 166cm tall, Barty showed great poise and precision in her 6-0 6-3 hammering of Italy’s Schiavone on Friday night. The win helping Australia to a 2-1 victory in the tie.

The match was over in under an hour as the Brisbane school-girl claimed the first major scalp of her young career, in a result that defied her 175 in the world ranking.

After the match Barty said it was amongst the best tennis she has played. “I think this trumps everything. It has to be close to one of the best performances I’ve ever played” she said.

Earlier in the week Tomic pulled of arguably the biggest result of his career when he downed reigning Australian Open champion and world-number-one Novak Djokovic 6-4 6-4.

Tomic has no doubt taken his game to another level in the off-season with his consistent serve and powerful returns proving too much for Serbia’s ace to handle on this occasion.

For all the controversies that have punctuated the start of his career, people seem to forget that Tomic is still only 20 years of age and still developing as a player and person.

Certainly this performance in front of a capacity crowd at the Perth Arena will have won him over many fans as he seeks to move on from an underwhelming 2012.

There is plenty move tennis action to look forward to this month, with Hobart and Sydney both hosting tournaments in the lead in to the showpiece Australian Open.

Don’t forget you can catch all the action at Strathfield Sports Club. Our pro-shop has reopened to cater for all your equipment needs, so there’s no excuse to not be serving up some tennis this January!