Perth, Australia, January 8, 2008 - It’s the Hoffman Cup finals for Slovakia after the team’s defeat over Germany. This victory happened after Dominika Cibulkova and Dominik Hrbaty won their singles matches over German players Sabine Lisicki and Nicolas Kiefer. Kiefer turned his ankle on the first set and had to be carried out of the court in a wheelchair during his match with Hrbaty.
Slovakia’s opponent for the Hoffman Cup finals was decided on the same day when the Russian brother and sister tandem of Dinara Safina and Marat Safin won the mixed doubles match against the French. Safina fought and defeated Alize Cornet, while Safin lost to Gilles Simon before Russia was able to win over the French in the deciding mixed doubles with a score of 6-4, 6-3, securing for themselves a place at the finals against Slovakia.
“It’s a brother-sister relationship,”Safina said, referring to their recent play on the court. “It was good getting through,” she added, “or it could have been the first and last time we played together.” The brother and sister tandem cruised through the second set before faltering on the few service breaks and finally bagging the final spot during the deciding mixed doubles.