Originally created 01/04/06

United States beats Russia in Hopman Cup

PERTH, Australia - Taylor Dent won his singles match and combined with Lisa Raymond in the clinching mixed doubles to give the United States a 2-1 victory Tuesday over Russia in the Hopman Cup.

Dent beat Yuri Schukin 6-2, 6-0 to even the round-robin match at 1-1 after 2004 U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova gave Russia a 1-0 lead with a 6-4, 6-1 win over Raymond.

"I missed a few volleys here and there I probably shouldn't have missed," Dent said after his singles match. "But I served well and was solid from the baseline."

Raymond and Dent had little trouble in the mixed doubles at the indoor Burswood Dome, beating the Russian pair 6-4, 6-1. The Americans are 2-0 in the tournament and a victory Thursday over Sweden would clinch a place in Friday's final.

The Netherlands defeated Australia 2-1 in the only other match Tuesday. It was the second straight loss for the Aussies. The Dutch opened with a victory Monday over Argentina.

Australian Samantha Stosur beat Michaella Krajicek 6-4, 7-6 (8) in the opening singles before Peter Wessels evened the match for the Netherlands with a 7-5, 6-4 win over Todd Reid. Krajicek and Wessels then beat Stosur and Reid 6-4, 6-2 in the deciding mixed doubles.

Schukin was called up to the Russian team after Marat Safin and Teimuraz Gabashvili withdrew with injuries.

Kuznetsova reached a career-high No. 4 ranking in October 2004 following her win in the U.S. Open, where she beat Lindsay Davenport and Mary Pierce en route to her first Grand Slam title. But the 20-year-old Russian couldn't repeat that form in 2005, slumping to No. 18 and reaching just one final.

Kuznetsova said she had difficulty dealing with the high expectations last year.

"I put a lot of pressure on myself," she said. "I know everybody expects a lot from me, so it's been tough."

On Wednesday, Argentina plays Germany and Russia plays Sweden.

Russia, the United States, Sweden and Serbia-Montenegro play in Group A. Argentina, Australia, Germany and the Netherlands are in Group B. The group winners play in the final.


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