Defending champions Switzerland were in a class above on Sunday night at the Hopman Cup, with Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic overwhelming Great Britain 3-0 without the loss of a set.
A sold-out crowd at Perth Arena packed in to watch Federer’s first hit-out of the new season, and the Swiss superstar delivered in a 6-1 6-1 thrashing of Cameron Norrie.
Bencic then took to the court, beating Katie Boulter 6-2 7-6(0) to seal the tie for Switzerland.
But they weren’t content to stop there. Federer and Bencic returned to the court and combined to defeat Norrie and Boulter 4-3(4) 4-1 in the mixed doubles to complete the whitewash.
After upsetting Stefanos Tsitsipas in the opening match of this year’s Hopman Cup, Norrie said he was looking forward to a crack at the great Federer.
“If I claim an upset against Roger I’d claim it for the rest of my life. I’d be 1-0 against him so it would be a very special moment for me,” he said.
“I think it’s every player’s dream to play Federer. He is just such an icon for the sport and I think he’s the GOAT … I’m just going to make the most of it and hopefully make it a competitive match.”
After saving three break points in the opening game, Federer raced to a 5-0 lead and overwhelmed the Brit with his relentless aggression and pace of play.
Norrie tried to be aggressive himself to rush the Swiss, but frequently sprayed errors when pulling the trigger too early.
He got on the board in the sixth game but Federer would only relinquished one more game for the entire match, completing victory in under an hour.
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) December 30, 2018
“It was very good. I came out of the blocks quick. I wasn’t missing any rhythm,” Federer said.
“I’m happy in all aspects of my game that things were working – foot work, offensive play, serve, return – it was all there. It was a great match for me.”
Bencic, who has struggled with injuries since cracking the top 10 in early 2016, emerged looking fit and sharp against Boulter, controlling the court with her versatile game, particularly in the first set.
The world No.37 then shut out the Brit in the second-set tiebreak to hand Switzerland victory.
“I’m just really happy I’m back being healthy,” she told hopmancup.com.
“I mean, it’s tough to be back at this level, but I’m taking it one step at a time and just improving my ranking.”
Switzerland next face the United States in a blockbuster tie that will see Federer and Serena Williams face off in the mixed doubles rubber – the first time the two greats will play each other.
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