PERTH: Nicolas Kiefer made the most of his first career mixed double match.
Kiefer combined with German team-mate Anna-Lena Groenefeld on Saturday to upset the Australian pair of Samantha Stosur and Wayne Arthurs 4-6, 6-3 and 10-8 in the match tiebreaker in the Hopman Cup team tennis opener. It gave Germany a 2-1 win at the indoor Burswood Dome in the eight-country, weeklong tournament.
Earlier, Kiefer beat Arthurs 6-3, 6-4 in singles to send the match to the deciding mixed doubles while Stosur beat Groenefeld 6-3, 7-5.
Kiefer had never played a mixed doubles match before Saturday, while Arthurs is a veteran doubles player and Stosur is ranked No. 2 in doubles. Stosur also won the mixed doubles championship at the 2005 Australian Open with fellow Australian Scott Draper.
The German pair took a 9-6 lead in the 10-point match tiebreaker, then held on for the win. Under tournament rules, the third and deciding set in a mixed doubles match is an extended game to save the players, who have already played singles, from having to play a full third set.
In singles, Kiefer broke Arthurs' opening service game.
``I'm happy with the way I'm fighting. There's still a long way, but the most important thing is to win," said Kiefer.
Stosur sealed the win on her fourth match point and took an early 2-0 lead when the German player double-faulted on break point in her first service game.
The results: Germany 2 beat Australia 1 (Samantha Stosur bt Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-3, 7-5; Nicolas Kiefer bt Wayne Arthurs 6-3, 6-4; Anna-Lena Groenefeld & Nicolas Kiefer bt Samantha Stosur & Wayne Arthurs 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 (tie-breaker). - AP