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The Honolulu Advertiser
Updated at 3:07 a.m., Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Tennis: Germany knocks US out of contention at Hopman Cup

Associated Press

PERTH, Australia James Blake's bid for a third Hopman Cup title will have to wait after the United States slumped out of contention with a 2-1 loss to Germany on Wednesday.

Blake beat Nicolas Kiefer in three sets to square the match after Meghann Shaughnessy lost to Germany's Sabine Lisicki in the women's singles, leaving the result hinging on the mixed doubles, which Lisicki and Kiefer won 6-3, 3-6 and 10-7 in the tiebreaker.

After losing 3-0 to Slovakia in its opening match, the United States needed to beat Germany and Australia to have a chance of reaching Friday's final in the international mixed team tournament.

The winner of the Germany-Slovakia match will top Group A and advance to the final. The United States will end the round-robin against host Australia, which is also winless in two matches.

Lisicki recovered to beat Shaughnessy 4-6, 6-0, 6-4 and has yet to lose a match.

The 10th-ranked Blake kept the US alive with a 7-6 (3), 6-7 (7), 6-4 win over Kiefer. Blake converted only one of 18 breakpoint chances in the opening game of the first set but that was one better than Kiefer.

Blake won back-to-back Hopman Cup titles with Serena Williams and Lindsay Davenport in 2003 and 2004.

Russia was to play Taiwan in Group B in the night match.