Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Sport | By Patty Hardy

Return to sender: Roger Federer looking forward to Serena William’s serve

Return to sender: Roger Federer looking forward to Serena William’s serve

Roger Federer started preparation for his Australian Open title defence in style with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Cameron Norrie at the Hopman Cup on Sunday. But Norrie and Boulter won the mixed doubles 4-3, 3-4, 4-3 to have the victory.

Favourites Germany, who were runners-up to Switzerland a year ago, were worked hard in two three-set singles matches, before completing a fine day's work 4-2 4-3 (5-3) in the doubles.

Norrie entered his clash with Federer riding a wave of confidence after beating world No.15 Tsitsipas in straight sets a day earlier.

Although Federer had to save three break points in the opening game of the first set, he proved to be more than the 23-year-old could handle as Norrie had to wait for five games before getting onto the scoreboard, reports Efe.

"He came up with some big shots, but so did I and managed to hold my nerve", he said.

"It's very exciting for both of us", Federer said.

"I wasn't missing my rhythm and it was flawless conditions, and I was happy with all aspects of my game".

Roger Federer of Switzerland gestures to the spectators before hitting signed tennis balls into the stands during day two of the 2019 Hopman Cup at RAC Arena on December 30, 2018 in Perth, Australia.

The match-up is set to draw worldwide interest, and the players themselves are just as excited.

Williams played an exhibition game against sister Venus in Abu Dhabi this week, but Perth will be her first competitive appearance since the controversial US Open final where she crossed verbal swords with the umpire Carlos Ramos branding him a "thief" and a "liar".

That proved to be the start of a productive year for a resurgent Kerber, who won at Wimbledon and climbed back to number two in the world. Serena saved a break point in the following game with a service victor and she won the tie break 7-3 after more than an hour of a great fight.

Although Zverev is ranked fourth in the world and Ferrer 126th, the German said he expected nothing less from the Spaniard, who who retired from Grand Slam tennis. "He is the greatest fighter, maybe, that we have ever seen in tennis".

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