Roger Federer win cancelled out by Angelique Kerber in Hopman Cup final
08 January, 2019, 02:46 | Author: Greg Lawrence
Federer gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the tie with a 6-4 6-2 win over world No.4 Alexander Zverev 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.
The Swiss pair wrapped up the tournament decider in the mixed doubles 4-0 1-4 4-3 (5-4) in the most exciting final of the event's 31-year history.
The likely demise of the Hopman Cup after three decades of the unique mixed teams tennis tournament has been greeted with sadness by players at this year's edition, with Serena Williams calling the prospect "heartbreaking".
Twenty-time Grand Slam champion Federer is the first player to win three Hopman Cups - twice with Bencic and once with Martina Hingis, in 2001.
A record 110,364 people attended what is rumoured to be the final Hopman Cup over the past week.
But the 37-year-old played down his chances of winning in Melbourne, saying that he was just one of many challengers for the title with Djokovic the clear favourite despite his shock defeat to Roberto Bautista Agut in Doha this week.
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The 30-year-old, who won the Australian Open in 2016, ensured that the mixed doubles rubber would be decisive.
However, the event is widely tipped to be scrapped to make way for the new ATP World Team Cup, which will start next year.
Federer's win over Zverev was a step up following earlier victories over rising star Stefanos Tsitsipas, Britain's Cameron Norrie and American Frances Tiafoe.
Federer's impressive stroke play countered the power of Zverev in the singles before the Swiss earned a crucial break in the 10th game of the first set.
"I think I only returned two of Federer's serves the whole match and the second one was the last point and the most important". "I'm a bit surprised that the matches have gone as well as they have".
It was a different story this time around with Barty having a poor service game in the seventh to hand Kerber a break before going on to win the first set in 32 minutes.
"She was fighting until the last one (point)", the German said.
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