Germany open with Belgium victory in Hopman Cup
Germany won their opening Hopman Cup clash with Belgium in the doubles after Angelique Kerber and David Goffin took one singles win apiece.
Kerber needed tie-breaks in both sets as she edged Elise Mertens 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-1) to put Germany on the front foot in Perth.
However, Belgium hit back in the Group A clash through David Goffin, who was a comfortable 6-3 6-3 victor over Alexander Zverev.
Goffin fired 12 winners to claim the opening set before battling back from 2-0 down in the second to tee up the deciding doubles.
Kerber and Zverev made the ideal start to the shortened first-to-four Fast4 format, breaking serve at the first attempt to seize the initiative.
That break was enough to settle the opening set and the German pairing edged a tie-break in the second to come away with a 4-2 4-3 (5-2) triumph.
Monday's action marked a return to competitive tennis for former world number one Kerber, who appointed Wim Fissette as her new coach in November after a woeful 2017 season.
"I think it was a good match from both of us; a really high quality," she said of her singles triumph. "For me, it gives me a bit of confidence starting the year like this, playing good tennis again.
"After the long break, playing tennis again, it is always different and tough but actually I am really happy about the first match and how I was feeling on court."