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Federer and Bencic defend Hopman Cup title for Switzerland in thrilling final against Germany

Andrew Hendrie in News 6 Jan 2019
  • Federer and Bencic defend Hopman Cup crown
  • Switzerland beat German pair of Zverev and Kerber in an extraordinary live mixed doubles encounter
Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland (Photo by TONY ASHBY/AFP/Getty Images)

Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic successfully defended their Hopman Cup title in a thrilling final showdown with Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber on Saturday night in Perth.

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In what was arguably the greatest Hopman Cup final in history (in possibly the popular tournament’s last edition with the incoming ATP Cup set to dominate the Australian summer of tennis from 2020), Federer and Bencic sensationally took home the silverware for the second straight year over Zverev and Kerber in a winner-takes-all point during the live mixed doubles.

Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic react after match point (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)
Federer gave Switzerland the lead with a dominant 6-4 6-2 win over Zverev, avenging his loss to the young gun in last year’s ATP Finals in London, but Kerber levelled the tie at 1-1, winning her eighth straight Hopman Cup singles match against Belinda Bencic, 6-4 7-6(6).

It set up a mouth-watering mixed doubles showdown, and the match didn’t disappointment, with Federer and Bencic prevailing 4-0 1-4 4-3(4).

Under the controversial new fast4 format and tiebreak rules in which the first to five points wins the match (you don’t have to win by two points like normal tiebreak rules), Zverev and Kerber couldn’t convert a championship point at 4-3 before a jaw-dropping rally on match point for both teams saw Switzerland emerge triumphant.



Earlier in the deciding set, Kerber stunned social media during an extraordinary exchange with Federer from the baseline, eventually coming out on top against the Swiss legend, while the German also hit arguably the shot of the tournament at the same juncture in the match, somehow curling a forehand around the net post and landing it near the baseline for a winner.



While Switzerland won the title (and Federer captured a record third Hopman Cup title), it was Zverev who stole the show during a hilarious trophy ceremony, playfully roasting Federer in his speech.

“We’re all tired of you guys already, but what can we do?” said Zverev, prompting the crowd to laugh. “Especially you (pointing at Federer). I mean, you’re 30-whatever. Why? Just why?
“Let us have one — just the Hopman Cup, man. Just once.”


Federer’s reaction was just as comical, but the 20-time major champion did find some time to be serious as he reflected on Switzerland’s title defence during his own speech.

“I’m very happy about these records, but I didn’t come here for that,” Federer said. “What a thrill it was — not just the match point, but also the whole match and the whole week.
“It’s great fun. I’m happy, I’m proud to represent my country. It’s been a super pleasure teaming with Belinda.”

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Federer and Bencic defend Hopman Cup title for Switzerland in thrilling final against Germany

Switzerland’s Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic successfully defended their Hopman Cup title in a thrilling final showdown with Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber on Saturday night in Perth.

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