In what could well have been described the tennis match of the century, Roger Federer helped Switzerland beat Serena Williams’ USA in the Hopman Cup.
This was after Federer combined with Belinda Bencic in their mixed doubles match to defeat the pairing of Serena Williams and Frances Tiafoe, winning in straight sets in the Fast4 format, clinching the tie 4-2, 4-3 (5-3) in 46 minutes.
Federer had earlier given Switzerland the lead by winning their opening encounter against Tiafoe. He won 6-4, 6-1 to take his team ahead 1-0.
Serena then overcame early match jitters against Bencic to clinch the second match, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
Oh what a night 🎾🔥 pic.twitter.com/Fj9arBT6Ni
— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) January 1, 2019
This set the tie up nicely for what was the showcase match of the day, possibly even the tournament, with Federer and Serena on the opposite side of the net for the first time. And with the result of the match also deciding both teams’ chances in the rest of the tournament, it came as no surprise that it became the most watched match of the tournament in a long, long time.
In fact, more than 14k tennis fans attended the competition on the day at the Perth Arena to watch the two absolute legends of the game face off, which was the highest single-session number in the history of Hopman Cup. The tournament is 31 years old.
What this win does is to enhance Switzerland’s chances of making it to the final of the Hopman Cup this year while USA have now been knocked out of the tournament. Having lost their opening rubber to Greece, USA needed a win to remain in contention for the final but a loss has had an opposite effect.
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) January 1, 2019
Switzerland now can make it to the Hopman Cup final even with a 2-1 defeat to Greece in their final league match. Speaking about the match itself, Federer complimented Serena’s serve and said he found it tough to read it.
“I was nervous returning. People talk about her serve so much and I see why it is such a wonderful serve because you just can’t read it.”
“It was so fun. This is super cool that we get to do it at such a pinnacle point of our careers,” she said. “This guy is great, both off the court and on the court. I think his serve is super-underestimated. It’s a killer serve, you can’t read it. I watched him all the time and I never knew how amazing it was.”