Maria Sharapova of Russia hits a return against Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus during their women's singles quarter-final match at the Shenzhen Open tennis tournament in Shenzhen in China's southern Guangdong province on January 4, 2019. Image Credit: AFP

Perth: David Ferrer led Spain to 2-1 consolation victory over France in the Hopman Cup on Friday in what was the 36-year-old’s last pro tennis event in Australia.

Ferrer, who will be retiring at Madrid in May, defeated Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-7, 7-6 in Spain’s final round-robin tie.

“It’s going to be the last matches in my career and I try to enjoy every point that I play,” Ferrer said. “For me it’s a pleasure to play here in this centre court at Hopman Cup. I never played, but I am happy to have the chance to play one time here.”

In China, former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova’s Australian Open preparations suffered a blow after a thigh injury forced her to retire from the Shenzhen Open quarter-final clash against Aryna Sabalenka on Friday.

Sharapova struggled to move on court and conceded the opening set 6-1, and was 4-2 down in the second when she retired.\

— Agencies