Published: Wed, January 02, 2019
Sports | By Sarah Myers

Roger Federer beats Serena Williams in historic mixed doubles clash in Perth

Roger Federer beats Serena Williams in historic mixed doubles clash in Perth

The Hopman Cup includes a round-robin of two singles and a mixed doubles match between nations with two groups of four.

The first day of 2019 offered a moment that is likely to feature on the tennis highlight reels at the end of the year, with Roger Federer and Serena Williams meeting on court for the first time at the Hopman Cup mixed-team event in Perth.

Roger Federer has warmed up for his mixed-doubles showdown with fellow all-time great Serena Williams with a straight sets win over talented American Frances Tiafoe at RAC Arena tonight.

Federer and Williams, both 37, have won a combined 43 Grand Slam titles.

The Swiss had copped a ball to the face from Tiafoe during the match, but was able to laugh it off. Williams grabbed at her right shoulder several times during the match, but was able to finish off the contest.

However, even a rare defeat couldn't take the gloss off the experience of facing Federer for the first, and nearly certainly the only, time.

Both Federer and Williams say they're excited about the historic matchup.

"Playing someone so great and that you admire so much in a match that actually means something".

In an interview with Agence France-Presse published Monday, Federer said he was hopeful his fans from around the world would tune in "because it's going to be one time and probably never again".

Both, Serena and Roger, are arguably the best players in the WTA and ATP roster respectively. What a pleasure. What an honour. She added: "I have been looking forward to it. You can see how focused and determined she is, and that's what I love about her".

Federer had also looked in fine form as he looks to defend his Australian Open crown, gaining a single break to take the first set against his 20-year-old opponent and then racing through the second. After that slip, Williams took the next two sets.

Federer won seven games in succession and eight of the last nine as Tiafoe dropped away.

"The good thing is I've played him a little bit already", Federer said.

"It was a great experience, I'm kind of sad it's over - I was just warming up!"

Williams will take on Belinda Bencic in the women's singles rubber. Thank you for making this match possible!

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