Tennis: Provis proves her worth

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The Independent Online
AUSTRALIA'S Wally Masur and Nicole Provis won a decisive doubles rubber to knock Sweden out of the Hopman Cup tennis mixed teams' tournament in Perth, Australia, yesterday.

They beat Mikael Pernfors and Catarina Lindqvist 6-3, 7-5 after the tie had been deadlocked at 1-1 following the singles matches. Provis had given the hosts a flying start, beating Lindqvist 7-6 6-1 in the women's singles, but Pernfors made it all square with a 6-4 6-4 win over Masur in the men's.

In the doubles, the Australians raced into a 5-0 lead in the first set, as the Swedes struggled to find their rhythm. However, the second set was closer - until Lindqvist dropped her serve in the 11th game.

Australia, seeded fifth in the tournament, now face fourth-seeded French pair Cedric Pioline and Nathalie Tauziat in the quarter-finals tomorrow.

Provis said the doubles result came as no surprise. 'I think it was leaning our way because Wally and I have played before, whereas our opponents had not played together much,' she said.

Pernfors said he and his partner had a few chances in the doubles, 'but they played better on the important points.'