Wednesday, 20 March, 2019

Switzerland win Hopman Cup

Greek tennis stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari celebrate their victory over Switzerland in the doubles Greek tennis stars Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari celebrate their victory over Switzerland in the doubles
Isaac Mcdaniel | 08 January, 2019, 02:44

The Swiss team defeated Germany's Zverev and Kerber for the second year in a row.

Zverev, who beat the 20-time Grand Slam victor on his way to victory at last season's ATP Finals in London, had no answer to the Swiss legend this time around as Federer put his team 1-0 up in the tie.

It was Switzerland's fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six.

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.

However, Zverev and Kerber returned fire, taking the second set from the Swiss combo 4-1.

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

Federer and Bencic repeated the 2-1 scoreline which carried them to their first Hopman title at Perth's unique mixed teams event 12 months earlier.

"I am very happy for these records, although I didn't come here for that", he said.

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The third set went to a tie breaker with Federer and Bencic winning a thrilling match point.

Zverev and Kerber were despondent after the loss and the former said it was a tough pill to swallow. The precocious Zverev had, early on, scored wins over his tennis idol, dating back to Federer's stronghold, the grass of Halle, in 2016.

"We came so close - we were one shot away".

"Winning back to back Australian Opens in my 30s has been one of my favourite things I'll look back on", Federer said. After shaking hands with Federer, the 23-year-old noticed he left a towel on his seat.

Germany will now be looking to exact revenge on the Swiss after losing in the final a year ago.

Federer concluded with: "It's been so much fun playing with you [Belinda] the last three years, and I hope it's not the last time".

"It is good to finish on a singles performance like this", he said. But the Swiss never gave up and forced a tie-break in the second.

The tiebreaker too had its twists, Kerber needing three match points to seal the win. But in the end, the experience and athleticism of Kerber proved just enough to seal the match, 7-6 (6), with a final victor.

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