Federer wins Hopman Cup for Switzerland

Switzerland are the Hopman Cup champions for the third time after Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic combined to topple Team Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-3 (3), 4-2.

19-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who lifted the trophy alongside Martina Hingis back in 2001, won all four of his singles contests, whilst a rejuvenated Bencic helped maintain an unbeaten Swiss record in the mixed doubles.

“After all these years I can’t believe I’m here again,” noted Federer. “It’s absolutely amazing. I’ve lost count of the years, I’m thrilled to win the Hopman Cup again with Belinda, it’s been a pleasure to partner you this week, well done.”

“I want to congratulate Team Germany for making the final,” said Bencic having lifted the trophy. “You played a great tournament and Angie was just too strong for me today. I’m so glad we made it in the mixed this time.

“Thanks to Roger for playing with me. It really is a dream come true. I couldn’t wish for a better partner,” she added with a beaming smile. “I’ll never forget this week, it’s been unbelievable.”

Earlier, Federer outplayed Zverev 6-7 (4), 6-0, 6-2 to begin an enthralling final. The contest was levelled by Kerber defeating Bencic 6-4, 6-1.

“I couldn’t be more happy, I thought I played great throughout,” said Federer. “Sascha definitely dropped his level a bit in the second and third sets, but I was able to take advantage of it and most importantly put Team Switzerland ahead.

“I was trying to play as aggressive as possible. I’m maybe better when we’re closer together,” explained the reigning Australian Open champion.

“The court plays fast, so it helps if you approach the net and do it the right way. It was working out well, so I thought I’d keep going until I had to fix it. That never happened, so I was able to cruise all the way through.

“It’s nice. I work part time now,” quipped the 36-year-old, suggesting he attacks frequently to avoid long baseline rallies. “I work in the morning, I’m off in the afternoons. It’s good being a dad, it’s good being a husband and it’s good being a tennis player.”

Walking into meet the media after the final, both smiles were drawn from cheek to cheek, it was evident how much this meant to both players.

“It’s kind of surreal. When you first play Hopman Cup you think you’ll be back every year, then all of a sudden, your plans change, your life changes and you have different preparations,” reflected Federer.

“It was already amazing to be back last year. We had a great time. This year round, getting it done is an incredible feeling.”

Perth is a unique place for Federer. In 1999, he was a hitting partner for national tennis treasure Martina Hingis and Ivo Heuberger. In 2001 he lifted the trophy alongside Hingis and in 2002 he teamed up with his now wife Mirka.

“Every trip has been very memorable for me,” recalled the world No. 2. “It’s a totally different feeling to when I won with Martina because I was the apprentice and she was the Master. Maybe this time it’s the other way round.

“There is just a lot of positivity. It was a great week as a team, but also personally in singles I played great. I just have to pace myself in the lead up to Melbourne and I’ll be ready,” claimed the reigning Australian Open champion.

“I’m just excited to go back to Melbourne, where I had my fairytale 2017 run.

“It’s great to be the defending champion, but I will go about it the right way, I won’t be putting any extra pressure on myself.”

Date: 6 January 2018, Source: Hopman Cup


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