Serbia’s bid for a maiden Hopman Cup title will have to wait at least another year after Spain upset the top seeds 2-1 in the final which finished in the early hours of Sunday morning at Perth Arena.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic gave Serbia a 1-0 lead when he beat Fernando Verdasco 6-3 7-5 in the $1 million mixed-teams event.
But the tie was sent to a live mixed doubles when Anabel Medina Garrigues upset former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic 6-4 6-7 (7-3) 6-2 in 2hr 38 minutes.
Spain prevailed just after midnight in the mixed doubles 6-4 7-5 to secure their fourth Hopman Cup title.
Djokovic and Ivanovic have now paired together three times in Perth, but are yet to walk away with the diamond-encrusted balls that goes to the winning team.
They came close to taking out the title two years ago, but were forced to pull out of the final after Ivanovic succumbed to a stomach injury.
World No.13 Ivanovic was a hot favourite to beat world No.50 Medina Garrigues.
But the 2008 French Open champion looked off her game, committing a glut of unforced errors to hand the ascendancy to Medina Garrigues.
Ivanovic snared an early break in the second set, but she called for the trainer at 2-0 up after feeling ill.
Medina Garrigues broke back late in the set to send it to a tiebreak, but Ivanovic produced the goods to level the match at one set apiece.
However, Ivanovic’s growing tally of unforced errors came back to haunt her, with the glamorous Serbian committing 46 all up to Medina Garrigues’ 16
Earlier, in the men’s singles rubber, Verdasco unleashed 21 winners to 15, but his 34 unforced errors proved to be his undoing, with Djokovic committing just 13 in comparison.
Djokovic broke world No.24 Verdasco in the fourth game of the match to propel him to first-set honours.
Verdasco unleashed an array of blistering ground strokes to race out to a 3-0 lead early in the third set.
But Djokovic hit back, breaking Verdasco in the fifth and 11th games to secure the match in 92 minutes.
“It’s difficult to player against a player like him. He’s very aggressive and serves over 200kmh,” Djokovic said of his win over Verdasco.