Tennis: Roger Federer in fine fettle as Switzerland win Hopman Cup for fourth time

Switzerland's Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic with the Hopman Cup after defeating Germany in the finals of the tennis tournament in Perth on Jan 5, 2019.
Switzerland's Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic with the Hopman Cup after defeating Germany in the finals of the tennis tournament in Perth on Jan 5, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

(REUTERS) - Roger Federer geared up for his Australian Open title defence in convincing fashion, guiding holders Switzerland to a 2-1 triumph over Germany on Saturday (Jan 5) for their fourth Hopman Cup crown.

Federer and Belinda Bencic beat Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-0, 1-4, 4-3 (5-4) in the deciding mixed doubles rubber to secure the trophy at the Perth Arena in a repeat of last year's title clash.

The world No. 3 earlier stamped his authority as a firm favourite for the season's first Grand Slam event, firing 24 winners and nine aces in a flawless 6-4, 6-2 win over ATP Finals champion Zverev.

Kerber too maintained her 100 per cent singles record with a 6-4, 7-6 (8-6) victory over Bencic to level the tie at 1-1, but the Germans failed to make the most of their opportunities as they went down in the tight mixed doubles rubber.

"I'm happy I'm feeling this good and playing as well as I am," said Federer, who has won the last two Australian Open titles after taking part in the mixed-team event.

Federer has beaten Frances Tiafoe, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Cameron Norrie and Zverev in straight sets and will be full of confidence heading into Melbourne Park later this month.

"It's good to finish on a singles performance like this. I'm a bit surprised the matches have gone as well as they have," the 37-year-old added.

 

It was Federer's third title success in the Hopman Cup, following victory in 2001 alongside then world No. 1 Martina Hingis and last year's success with Bencic.

Switzerland's first win in the competition was secured by Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere and Jakob Hlasek in 1992.