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Hopman Cup: Federer beat Tiafoe and looks forward to playing Serena
02 January 2019, 01:06 | Tracey Rhodes
Image Serena Williams and Roger Federer had never played against each other in an official match
Federer and Williams, holders of a combined 43 singles Grand Slam crowns, won their singles matches to keep the mixed doubles clash alive and the deciding match lived up to the hype it had generated as both players left the court with big smiles.
Williams grabbed at her right shoulder on several occasions late in the second set but played the match out.
The former world number one took out the match in straight sets overcoming Sakkari 7-6 (3), 6-2.
Image Frances Tiafoe and Williams took on Federer and Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup
In truth, Serena was not given the chance to show much of the doubles prowess that has seen her win 16 grand slam titles in that discipline on top of her 23 in singles. "You can see how focused and determined she is, and that's what I love about her". I'm sorry it had to finish.
"It was a great experience".
"This guy is great, both off the court and on the court". The two greats will be opponents for the first time in the mixed doubles. There's a reason why he's a greatest because you can't be that great and not have such an awesome weapon like that serve. He has a killer serve, - literally, you can't read it. "Hopefully I can get some tips later".
"It's super exciting", Williams said, looking ahead to her meeting with Federer later in the day.
"I can't read yours either", Williams joked.
Federer facing Serena was greeted with as much anticipation as the unions of Fedal and Fedovic and the Swiss may well consider adding Women's Tennis Association (WTA) stars to his own exhibition event in the future.
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"It was great fun". Maria is obviously super young and such a good player.
Despite their long concurrent careers and having attended a few Wimbledon champion dinners together, Federer said the pair barely knew each other.
"I was nervous returning", Federer said after the match. "I wanted to take pictures and bring my baby out", she said. "I hope that a lot of tennis fans are going to tune in and watch it, because it's going to be one time and probably never again, in this kind of a competition".
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A capacity crowd of 14,064 turned out for the tie, and they saw Federer and Bencic largely capitalise on the mixed doubles inexperience of Williams' teammate, Francis Tiafoe, to clinch the deciding rubber under the Fast4 format, 4-2, 4-3 (5/3).
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