Bouchard suffers buttocks injury in loss to Belgium at Hopman Cup

PERTH, Australia — Canada’s Eugenie Bouchard suffered a suspected buttocks injury in a loss to Belgium at the Hopman Cup on Friday.

Bouchard, from Westmount, Que., managed to play through the discomfort and complete the match, dropping a 6-4, 6-4 decision to Elise Mertens. With the Australian Open just over a week away, Bouchard said she didn’t think the injury was serious.

“I think it’s maybe a little strained or a little pulled or something,” she said. “There was a really sharp pain. I’m going to the physio now to see what it is. I don’t think it’s too bad.”

Bouchard is scheduled to compete at next week’s Hobart International ahead of the Australian Open, which begins Jan. 15.

David Goffin beat Vancouver’s Vasek Pospisil 6-2, 6-4 in the other match to hand Canada its third straight loss at the mixed team event.

Also Friday, Angelique Kerber won her singles match and contributed heavily in the deciding mixed doubles victory that gave Germany a 2-1 win over Australia and a spot in the final against Switzerland.

Kerber beat Australia’s Daria Gavrilova 6-1, 6-2 to put Germany within one win of reaching the final against Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic.

But Thanasi Kokkinakis edged Alexander Zverev 5-7, 7-6 (4), 6-4 in a close tussle to level for Australia, meaning Germany needed to win the doubles to advance.

A Germany loss to Australia in the last of the group matches would have meant three teams ended with 2-1 records, and that would have sent Belgium into Saturday’s championship decider at Germany’s expense.

Kokkinakis retained momentum in the first set of the doubles, but Kerber remained composed despite a succession of unforced errors from Zverev — and taking the full brunt of a Kokkinakis forehand on her hip — to steer Germany to a 1-4, 4-1, 4-3 (3) in the Fast 4 format.

Zverev praised two-time major winner Kerber’s performance, admitting he almost lost the match for Germany.

“Angie played unbelievable in both of her matches — she’s the reason we’re in the final,” Zverev said. “I’m going to give all the credit to her. I didn’t play my best today — luckily I have an unbelievable partner.”

Germany has won the Hopman Cup twice, but not since Boris Becker and Anke Huber teamed up in 1995.

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