Roger Federer has become the most successful player in Hopman Cup history after leading Switzerland to a 2-1 win in an enthralling final of the mixed teams tournament in Perth Saturday.
In what is tipped to be the final edition of the unique tournament, the best was saved for last as Federer became the first player to win three Hopman Cups, teaming with Belinda Bencic for the duo’s second consecutive title.
For the second year in a row, the Swiss beat the German pairing of Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber by claiming a deciding mixed doubles rubber loaded with drama.
It was Switzerland’s fourth title overall, behind only the United States with six. Federer first won the Hopman Cup back in 2001 when he teamed with Martina Hingis.
The 37-year-old gave the Swiss the early ascendancy with a straight sets win against Zverev, before Kerber squared the tie by beating a dogged Belinda Bencic to set up the mixed doubles decider.Federer was a dominant figure in an extraordinary doubles match as the Swiss claimed the abbreviated format 4-0, 1-4, 4-3 (5/4) to clinch the title.
Fittingly, it was Federer who served out the match in the third set tie-break, having been unable to do so earlier in the set, when after an extended rally Zverev dumped a backhand into the net to hand the Swiss victory.
In the men’s singles, Federer bounced back from a November loss to Zverev in London to beat the big-serving German 6-4, 6-2 and make it a clean sweep of his singles matches in Perth for the second year running, less than two weeks before he defends his Australian Open title.It was a high-octane match, with plenty of big serves and clean winners, but Federer was able to answer everything the 21-year-old threw at him.He broke Zverev in the 10th game of the first set and then tightened the noose on the German, with two more breaks in the second set.