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Alcaraz fails to rescue Spain

The Hopman Cup is a mixed competition with two-player teams representing six nations in two pools of three.

Wimbledon champion Carlos Alcaraz and Spain take a tumble in the Hopman Cup in Nice, France. | SEBASTIEN BOZON/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

PARIS, France (AFP) — In his first match since battling to the Wimbledon title, Carlos Alcaraz was made to work hard by David Goffin in the Hopman Cup in Nice on Friday.

In the men’s singles, top-ranked Alcaraz had to fight to overcome the 111th ranked Belgian 4-6, 6-4, 10/8.

Goffin broke the 20-year-old Spaniard twice to take the first set and led 3-1 in the second before Alcaraz fought back to take the match to a super tiebreak 10/8 after falling 4-0 behind.

The victory drew Spain level in the tie after Elise Mertens beat Rebeka Masarova 7-6 (7/3), 2-6, 10/5 in the opening women’s singles.

In the deciding doubles, Mertens and Goffin brushed Masarova and Alcaraz aside 6-3, 6-1 in just over an hour to hand victory to the Belgian team.

The Hopman Cup is a mixed competition with two-player teams representing six nations in two pools of three.

Each country plays the other two teams in its pool. Each tie starts with women’s singles followed by men’s singles and then mixed doubles.

Belgium lost its opening tie to Croatian pair Donna Vekic and Borna Coric. Spain will take on the Croatia on Saturday with a place in the final still within in reach.

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