Federer-Bencic outclasses Zverev-Kerber in final

Arnold Nichols
January 8, 2019

Germany's Angelique Kerber and Alexander Zverev will get a chance to avenge last year's Hopman Cup final loss to Switzerland after beating hosts Australia to set up a rematch with Belinda Bencic and Roger Federer.

Just like 2018 final, Federer beat Zverev 6-4 6-2 to give the Swiss an early 1-0 lead.

Wimbledon champion Kerber saved four break points in the second set to beat an error-prone Ashleigh Barty 6-4 6-4 to set the ball rolling for Germany on Friday, before Zverev swatted aside Matthew Ebden 6-4 6-3 to seal the win.

Australia claimed the dead mixed doubles rubber 4-0 4-3 (1) to sign off with a consolation win.

It was Federer's third title success in the Hopman Cup, more than any other player, following victory in 2001 alongside then world number one Martina Hingis and last year's win with Bencic.

Federer first won the Hopman Cup back in 2001 against the USA when he paired with Martina Hingis.

Federer has beaten Frances Tiafoe, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Cameron Norrie, and Zverev in straight sets at the Hopman Cup, giving him an excellent preparation for his Australian Open title defence.

Roger Federer says Novak Djokovic is the favourite to win the Australian Open, despite a surprise defeat in Doha on Friday. "Playing here as a team with your partner, playing the mixed which is exciting, I will miss it".

With the tournament now in the balance at 1-1, it all came down to the mixed doubles.

In the process, Federer and Bencic also became the first pair in the event's 31-year history to retain their title.

"We will remember it for the rest of our lives, especially how it ended", Zverev said.

The third set went to a tie breaker with Federer and Bencic winning a thrilling match point. Its place in the calendar is under threat from the ATP Cup, a men's only team event which is set to launch in January next year. "It could have easily gone three sets".

Osaka kicked the air at one point and dropped her racket to the court after missing another, before visibly questioning how she could be getting it so wrong when her forehand skewed wide on game point.

I played well and served good.

"I think I served really well".

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