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  Friday, November 27, 2020
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Safin is back!!
Former world No. 1 Marat Safin rallied for a 6-7 (4), 7-6 (6), 6-3 win over Jiri Novak to give Russia a win over the Czech Republic at the Hopman Cup on Thursday. The win keeps the Russians in contention for a spot in the final. Anastasia Myskina gave Russia the lead with a 6-3, 7-6 (0) win over Barbora Strycova in the women's singles. The Czech pair got a consolation point when Novak and Strycova combined for a 3-6, 7-6 (1), 11-9 win in mixed doubles. Safin, who spiraled down to No. 77 in the world rankings due to a chronic wrist problem in 2003, said he'd surprised himself with his early season form. "It was tough, I was not scared because I was playing really well and this match was a very important match for me," he said. Safin was the 2000 U.S. Open champion. The Russians face the United States on Friday and must beat Lindsay Davenport and James Blake 3-0 to have any chance of reaching the final. Australia faces Slovakia and Hungary plays Canada in later matches Thursday. Belgium had to forfeit its scheduled match against Hungary after Kim Clijsters withdrew from the tournament with an ankle injury on Wednesday.
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