Federer cops painful falcon during Serena match

Virginia Santiago
January 2, 2019

The two biggest names in tennis faced off last night for the very first time, as Roger Federer and Serena Williams finally met on the court during a mixed doubles match at the Hopman Cup.

Earlier in the day, Federer beat Tiafoe 6-4 6-1, while Williams overcame Belinda Bencic 4-6 6-4 6-3 in the two singles rubbers.

Speaking afterwards, 20-time Grand Slam victor Federer described the chance to take on Williams - who holds the record for most Grand Slam titles among active players at 39 - as "an honour".

Serena Williams made a winning return to competitive action at the Hopman Cup on Monday but could not prevent the United States from losing 2-1 to Greece in their opening round-robin match.

Frances Tiafoe and Serena Williams took on Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup
Image Frances Tiafoe and Williams took on Federer and Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup

Defeat left six-time winners USA at the bottom of the group ahead of Tuesday's meeting with holders Switzerland, who thumped Britain on Sunday.

Federer and Bencic prevailed in straight sets by scores of 4-2 and 4-3, but the highlight of the event came after the result was announced as Federer and Williams were interviewed together, on-court, and gave the Hopman Cup crowd a laugh-every-minute.

Competitors play a men's and women's singles match along with the mixed doubles match.

The pair battled it out for over two hours in their first round match before Venus broke through in the sixth game of the decider to set up victory. 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.

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We try to discover what they do. "So we need to be at 100 per cent in every game and if we are then I believe we can achieve something special".

But Tuesday will mark the first time either of the superstars has ever taken the court in competition with the other.

Federer and Williams, of course, won't be the only players on the court in a mixed doubles match.

"I see why they talk about [her serve] - you just can't read it", Federer said. I would even cry sometimes just because....

Williams also said the coming match was "like a dream come true".

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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.

"I really can not imagine how".

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