Posted: Wed January 2, 2013 7:16AM; Updated: Wed January 2, 2013 11:16AM

Djokovic loses to Tomic in Hopman Cup

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Novak Djokovic
Novak Djokovic enters the season as the top-ranked player for the second straight year.
Paul Kane/Getty Images

PERTH, Australia (AP) -- Bernard Tomic upset top-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 but Australia lost to Serbia 2-1 at the Hopman Cup on Wednesday.

Ana Ivanovic evened the round-robin event by overwhelming Australian 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty 6-2, 6-3. Barty made a positive start, but once Ivanovic made the first break to lead 4-2 she took control. The Serbians combined to win the mixed doubles 6-4, 6-7 (8), 10-6.

Tomic put Djokovic under pressure right from the start, holding five break points in the opening game. Djokovic survived that threat and held a break point of his own to lead 5-3 but netted a backhand. Tomic broke serve in the next game with a crosscourt forehand winner and served out the set.

He kept up the pressure in the second set, failing to convert a break point to lead 4-3. But he won his sixth break point at 5-4 and he served out his first win over Djokovic in four tries.

"I played a very, very good match,'' Tomic said. "I'm just happy after the training the last few months, that it's all coming good and the training's paying off.''

Playing before more than 13,000 in the sold-out Perth Arena, Tomic admitted to feeling nervous at the start.

"Very difficult to play the first few games,'' he said. "It's very hard playing against a player like Novak and come out relaxed. But I'm happy the way I came out. I was serving really good and the whole match was on my side because my serve was working really well.''

Djokovic was generous in defeat and conceded that Tomic deserved his victory.

"He played really well. He deserved to win,'' Djokovic said. "I knew I was coming here to Australia really late and it still takes time for me to get used to it. But I'm not taking anything from his win. He played terrific. He's in great form. I was always on the back foot and he was the better player.''

Earlier, Italy rallied to beat Germany 2-1.

Francesca Schiavone defeated Tatjana Malek 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and after Germany's Tommy Haas resisted a solid challenge and defeated Andreas Seppi 7-6 (3), 7-6 (7). Italy won the doubles 6-4, 7-5.

On Thursday, the United States team of John Isner and Venus Williams will play the Spanish pair of Fernando Verdasco and Anabel Medina Garrigues for a place in Saturday's final. Australia will face Italy.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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