Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Federer, Williams eager for Hopman match

Federer, Williams eager for Hopman match

The 23-year-old Cameron Norrie made a flawless start, beating world number 15 Stefanos Tsitsipas 7-6, 6-4 to secure the opening point for his country who ousted Greece 2-1 after a thrilling mixed doubles match and match points he and Katie Boulter had to save against Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari.

Norrie rarely challenged the world No.3, with Federer's win giving Switzerland a 1-0 lead over Great Britain ahead of Belinda Bencic's clash with Katie Boulter.

Favourites Germany, who were runners-up to Switzerland previous year, were worked hard in two three-set singles matches, before completing a fine day's work 4-2 4-3 (5-3) in the doubles.

"He came up with some big shots, but so did I and managed to hold my nerve", he said.

"This was a great start but obviously a long way to go here and in Melbourne", Federer said from Perth, Australia.

"It's nice that I'm feeling as good as I am and I played a wonderful match against Cameron". It was a great match for me.

The Hopman Cup comprises two singles matches and a mixed-doubles contest between nations in a round-robin format with two groups of four.

" It's still early days, but I feel like I've played some sets and points in practice, so you kind of know where you are".

Britain's hopes of securing a point against the defending champions were then extinguished when Boulter lost to Bencic, 6-2 7-6 to give Switzerland victory.

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

Ashleigh Barty gave Australia a 1-0 lead with a 7-5, 6-3 win over Alize Cornet before Matt Ebden clinched it for the home side with a 3-6, 7-6 (5), 6-2 win over Lucas Pouille.

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.

"I have always had good partners coming here with me- Martina Hingis, my wife and now Belinda Bencic", added Federer.

The world no.3 looked absolutely in tune with his tennis to demolish his opponent in just 57 minutes 6-1 6-1.

The Swiss tennis great who claimed four titles previous year, including his sixth Australian Open trophy, said he is "motivated" for the 2019 tour after having intense off-season preparation.

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