Roger Federer set to finally get wish of playing Serena Williams

Roger Federer got Switzerland's Hopman Cup campaign off to a winning start

Federer and Belinda Bencic were victorious by a margin of 4-2, 4-3 against the American pairing of Williams and Frances Tiafoe, as Switzerland took the ascendancy in Group B at the annual official worldwide mixed team tennis event of the ITF in Perth, Australia.

Switzerland's Federer and Bencic will team up to play Williams and Tiafoe of the U.S. in the deciding mixed doubles.

"It was great, great fun".

"I really enjoyed playing against Serena, what an honour and pleasure", he said. The two once played on the same team at an exhibition match in 2010 and have taken the court on the same weekend eight other times, including in 2017, but never have actually squared off across the net from each other.

"I admire everything she's done on and off the court, we are both fierce competitors and we always want to win", added the 20-time Grand Slam champion of the once-in-a-lifetime match.

"It's still early days, but I feel like I've played some sets and points in practice, so you kind of know where you are", Federer said. "Great champion, you see how focused and determined she is and I love that about her".

14,064 people were in attendance at the event, making it the highest single session attendance in the history of the tournament. "You're a superman over there because it's hard with just one", she said.

"You know I've been training offseason to be ready for Roger, so not sure how I'm going to do but we'll see", Williams said.

Tiafoe stayed with Federer until the 12th game of the first set when the Swiss broke to win the first set. "I was happy with all aspects of my game, footwork, offensive play, serve, return".

Defending champion Switzerland will qualify for Saturday's final if it beats Greece on Thursday in Group B. The United States, which lost to Greece on Monday, can't now advance.

The meeting between the pair not only showed two all-time greats on court together for the first time, it also showed the respect and camaraderie they both had for each other. "You just can't read it". In his press conference at the Hopman cup, Roger Federer spoke about his experiences of playing against, and with, quality women tennis players. "I watched him all the time and I never knew how fantastic it was".

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