Federer On Winning Team After Facing Serena For 1st Time

Roger Federer and Cameron Norrie shake hands at the net

Serena Williams scored her second singles win at this year's Hopman Cup, beating Belinda Bencic 4-6 6-4 6-3 in an hour and 40 minutes to level the overall score and set all eyes on the much expected mixed doubles clash.

It was the first time the stars had ever gone head-to-head, with Federer and Swiss partner Belinda Bencic beating U.S. pair Williams and Frances Tiafoe in straight sets in their Group B clash. But the fact it would also decide the tie victor added extra intrigue. The United States, which lost to Greece on Monday, can't now advance.

And it was Switzerland who triumphed in a famous match-up. But the class of Federer shone through during the quick-fire rallies, with Bencic unleashing some nice winners as well. "I was happy with all aspects of my game, footwork, offensive play, serve, return".

Williams has said in a television interview that she was looking forward to getting a picture with Federer for her Instagram page.

Williams has not played in Down Under since she won the Australian Open while pregnant with her daughter Alexis Olympia, who was born the following September.

"It was so fun". "This guy is great, both off the court and on the court". Belinda has done it in the past so I'm sure she's going to pass me on the information that I need to know about Serena's serve and all the other shots that she has. You can't read it. I watch him all the time but I never knew how great he was!'

The Swiss maestro had talked before the match of his nervousness at facing the feared Serena serve and his fears seemed confirmed as he was unable to cope with two deliveries in her opening service game, but thereafter he took control of the match with Bencic.

An early break in the final set to Williams was crucial as she used her big serve to hold Bencic at bay and win 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.

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"It's definitely a relief".

There was a memorable moment in the second set when a Tiafoe shot struck a shocked but amused Federer on the head with the match played in very fine spirits.

She is targeting Margaret Court's record of 24 Grand Slam titles and could secure that honour this season.

Federer was at his clinical best in his singles match.

Federer earlier defeated Tiafoe in straight sets.

Federer felt he handled Tiafoe's power game well.

In truth, Serena was not given the chance to show much of the doubles prowess that has seen her win 16 grand slam titles in that discipline on top of her 23 in singles. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, this is so cool.' So it's just something that, as a player, is something that you would dream of, to play Roger Federer".

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