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Poland levels Hopman Cup final

PERTH, Australia – Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska levelled the Hopman Cup final with a gruelling win over France's Alize Cornet in a classic singles match on Saturday night.

The world number five survived a marathon 80-minute second set, during which she held a match point, before the Frenchwoman finally squared the match in the tiebreak with her fifth set point.

Poland's Agnieszka Radwanska levelled the Hopman Cup final with a gruelling win over France's Alize Cornet in a classic singles match. Photo by: Paul Kane. Credit: Getty Images

However, Cornet had run herself to the point of exhaustion, at one stage suffering the ignominy of incurring a time penalty as she struggled to regain her breath following yet another long rally.

She tired in the final set, allowing Radwanska to prevail in two hours and 33 minutes, 6-3, 6-7 (7/9), 6-2, in one of the most remarkable matches ever seen at the mixed teams tournament.

The tie was to be decided in the mixed doubles.

Earlier, world number 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga gave France the lead in the final.

Tsonga beat the 288th-ranked Grzegorz Panfil, who was a late replacement for Jerzy Janowicz in the Polish team, in three sets, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3.

Despite the vast chasm in their rankings, the Frenchman had his hands full with the little-known Panfil in the competition held in Perth, Australia.

Tsonga created numerous break points, converting just two of 14, but got a shock when Panfil capitalised on his only opportunity to break in the ninth game of the second set, levelling the match in the process.

However, Tsonga steadied in the decider. – Sapa-AFP

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