Expectation turned to dismay for Australia yesterday as the hosts were stunned 2-1 by Romania in the opening round-robin match of the Hopman Cup.
Lleyton Hewitt looked to have turned things in the top seeds' favour when he levelled the match at 1-1 with a 3-6, 6-3, 7-6 win over Victor Hanescu after Sorana Cirstea had shocked Sam Stosur 3-6, 6-4, 6-3.
But Cirstea and Hanescu then beat the Australians 7-5, 6-1 in the deciding mixed doubles, leaving the host nation facing an uphill battle if they are to reach the final.
"For me today was a perfect day. It was a great day," Cirstea said.
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