The two biggest names in tennis faced off last night for the very first time, as Roger Federer and Serena Williams finally met on the court during a mixed doubles match at the Hopman Cup.
Federer, joined by Swiss compatriot Belinda Bencic, defeated Williams and her American teammate Frances Tiafoe in a swift 4-2, 4-3 (5-3) victory in Perth.
The match was witnessed by some 14,064 spectators, which has been touted as the highest attendance for a single session in the tournament’s history.
Those lucky punters were on hand to watch the winners of a combined 43 Grand Slam singles titles duke it out:
Then a well-placed shot from the 37-year-old Swiss maestro eventually forced an error from young gun Tiafoe, sending the Americans out of the running.
“I’m kind of sad it’s over, I was just warming up,” Williams said after the match.
“It was so fun. Like I said before, it was something that… we grew up together, really, and having that opportunity after all these years, we’ve actually never done this.
Discussing the daunting task of returning Williams serve – a thunderbolt which Federer failed to swing back in the entire first set – Federer said “I see why it’s such a wonderful serve, because people just can’t read it.”
“I can’t read yours either,” Williams shot back.
Oh what a night ???????? pic.twitter.com/Fj9arBT6Ni— Roger Federer (@rogerfederer) January 1, 2019
Bencic and Federer will move on to face Greece on Thursday night, hoping for a decisive win to send them into the final.
If we were talking about anyone other than Federer and Williams, it’d be fair to say this is a pretty good way to cap off their careers. But, considering Federer’s mind-blowing tournament run in the past couple of years and Williams’ heroic return to the court after nearly dying during her daughter’s birth, there’s still a hell of play left in front of them.
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Image: Richard Wainwright / AAP Photo