Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic cruise to Hopman Cup victory over Britain

Ruben Holloway
December 31, 2018

World No. 3 Roger Federer outplayed Briton Cameron Norrie 6-1, 6-1 to secure a winning start for defending champion Switzerland at the Hopman Cup Sunday.

"It was great to be back out on match day".

The 37-year-old Federer was unbeaten in singles at the previous Hopman Cup earlier this year, when he teamed with Bencic to win the title. It means Federer and Williams will play against each other in the mixed doubles portion of that match.

Williams looked sluggish early, and needed her left ankle re-strapped after winning the first set. Another 4-2, 4-3 victory in the dead rubber mixed doubles enabled the Germans to beat the Spaniards 3-0 in their opening tie at the tournament. "I hope tennis fans tune in and watch it because it's going to be one time and probably never again in this type of competition", Federer said.

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"I admire everything she's done on and off the court, we are both fierce competitors and we always want to win", added the 20-time Grand Slam champion of the once-in-a-lifetime match.

"You know I've been training offseason to be ready for Roger, so not sure how I'm going to do but we'll see", Williams said with a laugh after losing to her sister Venus at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

The Swiss maestro, who is now playing at the Hopman Cup, barely broke a bead of sweat as he blitzed through his opening match, putting Switzerland in the driver's seat against Great Britain. "She is one of the biggest champions in our sport ever, men and women combined, so it is great to be playing against her".

Two breaks of the serve in each set were enough for the 20-time Grand Slam victor to win 6-1, 6-1 in just 57 minutes, just over two weeks out from the year's first Grand Slam.

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"I don't know her that well", he said.

The 37-year-old will face off against rising star Frances Tiafoe in Tuesday's tie against the United States, before playing Williams in the mixed doubles. Williams saved a break point in the opening game but she hit a forehand long in game three to give Sakkari the break and the lead.

"It was very good, I came out of the blocks quick", he said.

"I'm happy in all aspects of my game that things were working - foot work, offensive play, serve, return - it was all there".

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