Roger Federer’s Swiss team is into the Hopman Cup final for a second straight year after the 20-time Grand Slam champion beat exciting young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas on Thursday night.
Federer overcame a scare in the first set tiebreak to win 7-6(5) 7-6(4) in 93 minutes.
The win game Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the tie – enough to book them a spot in Saturday’s final given they already beat Great Britain (3-0) and the US (2-1) earlier in the tournament.
“I thought Stefanos came out and played a great match. So did I. Very little unforced errors, just really good-quality tennis,” Federer said.
“In the second set maybe I had a few more chances but it could have easily gone three sets.
“I enjoy playing against the young guys, to be honest. They bring something different, something I have maybe never seen before. And that was the case today.
“You can see I’m still breathing heavily – I”m not getting any younger (laughter). But it was good fun. I really enjoyed myself.”
Greece needed to beat Switzerland 3-0 to reach the final.
And their hopes looked promising when the 20-year-old world No.15 Tsitsipas led 4-1 in the first-set tiebreak.
Federer reeled off four straight points to get himself back into the contest, before a late Tsitsipas double fault handed the Swiss maestro set point.
Eight of the first 11 service games in the opening set were won to love, and the serve continued to dominate in the second set.
Federer couldn’t convert either of his three break points in the second set as the contest headed to another tiebreak.
The 37-year-old came up with the goods again in the tiebreak, producing a deft drop shot to set up three match points.
Switzerland will take on either Germany or Australia in the final.
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