Roger Federer, Serena Williams to meet in mixed dubs on New Year’s Day

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HOPMAN CUP HIGHLIGHTS: Roger Federer d. Cameron Norrie, 6-1, 6-1


Two of the greatest tennis players of all time will square off on New Year’s Day, as Roger Federer and Serena Williams face each other in a blockbuster mixed doubles match at the Hopman Cup in Perth, Australia.

The unprecedented encounter will take place after singles matches involving the Swiss team of Federer and Belinda Bencic, and the American team of Williams and Frances Tiafoe.

“It’s just very exciting for both of us,” Federer said of his first mixed doubles match against Williams. “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.

“I admire everything she’s done on and off the court," he continued. "We can relate to one another now being parents, even more so beside the fact that we’ve won a lot, we’re both fierce competitors, and we always want to win and always try our best. I’ve played with some of the greatest doubles players in the world in Navratilova and Hingis, and then I’ve also played against some of the best in Venus and others.

“This time it’s Serena, one of the biggest champions ever in our sport, men and women combined.”

Federer holds the men’s record for most Grand Slam singles titles in tennis history with 20, while Serena holds the women’s record in the Open Era with 23 (she’s second all-time to Margaret Court’s 24).

“I’ve always thought, ‘How is it to return that serve, or to go head to head with her?’” Federer added.

After playing an exhibition match against sister Venus in Abu Dhabi, Serena echoed the sentiment.

“I’m excited to go to Perth. It’s been a while since I’ve been there,” she said. “You know, I’ve been training in the off-season to be ready for Roger. I’m not sure how I’m going to do, but we’ll see.”

Both Federer and Serena are using Hopman Cup as their final preparation for the Australian Open, where the Swiss is a six-time champion (2004, 2006, 2007, 2010, 2017 and 2018) and the American is a seven-time champion (2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2015 and 2017).

Federer played his first matches of the week on Sunday against Great Britain, cruising past Cameron Norrie in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1, and then partnering Bencic to beat Norrie and Katie Boulter, 4-3 (4), 4-1.

Serena played her first matches of the week on Monday against Greece, defeating Maria Sakkari, 7-6 (3), 6-2, before falling to Sakkari and Stefanos Tsitsipas in the mixed doubles, with partner Tiafoe, 4-1, 1-4, 4-2.

This Week on Tennis Channel Plus:

Hopman Cup (Sat - Sat 12.29 - 1.5)
•    Roger Federer, Alexander Zverev, Serena Williams and Angelique Kerber headline the Hopman Cup. Watch live coverage on Tennis Channel Plus beginning Saturday 12/29 at 9:00pm ET.

ATP/WTA Brisbane (Sun - Sun 12.30 - 1.6)
•    Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray, Naomi Osaka and Sloane Stephens open their 2019 seasons in Brisbane. Live coverage from three courts begins on Tennis Channel Plus on Sunday 12/30 at 8:00pm ET.

WTA Auckland (Sun - Sun 12.30 - 1.6)
•    Catch the action from the ASB Classic including Venus Williams and Caroline Wozniacki. Live coverage begins on Tennis Channel Plus on Sunday 12/30 at 8:00pm ET.

WTA Shenzhen (Sat - Sat 12.29 - 1.5)
•    Watch first to last ball action from the Shenzhen Open featuring Maria Sharapova and Jelena Ostapenko beginning Saturday 12/29 at 11:00pm ET.

ATP Pune (Mon - Sat 12.31 - 1.5)
•    Watch Kevin Anderson, Marin Cilic and Hyeon Chung live from Pune starting Monday 12/31 at 6:30am ET.

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