Hopman Cup reality saddens Federer

Virginia Santiago
January 8, 2019

PERTH, Australia-Roger Federer won the Hopman Cup for a record third time after defending champion Switzerland beat Germany, 2-1, on Saturday.

Then there was world No2 and three-time Major champion Angelique Kerber, paired up with the man nearly a decade her junior but already a champion at the ATP Finals, world No4, Alexander Zverev.

Going down to the final point in the Fast4 format, Switzerland survived a match point in the tie-break and managed to clinch the historic win 4-0, 1-4, 4-3.

"It's nice to be back in the final and play Switzerland, who we lost to in a very close match past year", he said.

Federer's 2019 tennis season has gotten off to the strongest possible start as he helped Switzerland retain the Hopman Cup this week. In the hard-fought tie-break Kerber then used their third match ball.

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The world No.2 looked to be heading for a rapid victory, breaking Bencic's first two service games to race to a 3-0 lead.

She has reached the semifinals or better at four of her last five tournaments but hasn't added another title.

"I'm one of the top 10 favourites".

The German served for the match at 5-4, but the match took a dramatic twist as Bencic broke back, only for Kerber to immediately break again.

The final against Germany was settled by a tense mixed-doubles rubber that went to a tiebreak. "I'm a bit surprised that the matches have gone as well as they have", he said.

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Zverev, beaten in the final two years in a row, said he hoped there would be a chance to atone and that he hadn't played his last Hopman match.

"There was very little unforced errors and it was really good quality tennis", Federer said.

Roger Federer is not particularly anxious about being affected by the heat at the Australian Open.

They changed ends at 3-3, with their partners both watching intently from the side-lines, and Bencic saved two match points to change ends still all square, 6-6.

"She was fighting until the last one (point)", she said.

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"If the Hopman Cup does not continue Perth will not only lose an incredibly historic event, but will also miss out on hosting some of the world's best female players as the proposed ATP tournament would be exclusively a men's competition".

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