Federer will team up with Belinda Bencic while Williams will partner Frances Tiafoe when Switzerland take on the United States on January 1
Tennis royalty Roger Federer and Serena Williams have been pounding balls across the net for more than 20 years and they are back for yet another season, starting in Perth at the mixed teams Hopman Cup from Saturday.
Both 37 years old and with 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them, Federer is now a father and Williams a mother but tennis keeps calling, with neither showing any sign of quitting.
Flying Federer leads Switzerland in defense of the Hopman Cup title he won alongside Belinda Bencic earlier this year, with the pair teaming up once again. Williams returns to the country for the first time since her famous Australian Open win in 2017, when eight-weeks pregnant with baby Alexis Olympia. She partners rising American star Frances Tiafoe in her fifth visit to Western Australia. In a mouthwatering prospect, Switzerland plays the United States on January 1 with two of the greatest players ever facing each other in the mixed doubles.
Federer conceded it was a once-in-a-lifetime match-up and one he was looking forward to.
“We’ll probably play it down a little bit and say it’s not that big of a deal for us, it’s just another tennis match, but it really isn’t because it’s probably going to happen once and never again,” he said on Thursday.
Williams played an exhibition match against sister Venus in Abu Dhabi this week, but Perth will be her first competitive event since her meltdown in the US Open final this year. She received a code violation for coaching, a penalty point for racquet abuse and a game penalty for calling the umpire a “liar” and a “thief” during her defeat by Naomi Osaka. Federer later said Williams “went too far” and should have walked away, adding an edge to their upcoming encounter.