A historic New Year’s Day in Perth ended with Serena Williams and Roger Federer trading compliments about their famous serves after the two legends squared off in mixed doubles at the Hopman Cup.
Federer and his partner Belinda Bencic combined to defeat Serena and Frances Tiafoe 4-2, 4-3(3) to secure victory for Switzerland against USA in the mixed team competition in Western Australia.
After the one-of-a-kind showdown, dubbed as ‘Battle of the GOATs’, Federer and Serena, who own 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them, were interviewed together by Todd Woodbridge.
“It was a great experience, I’m kind of sad it’s over, I was just warming up. It was so fun,” said the 37-year-old Serena.
“This is something, as we grew up together, just watching, and having an opportunity, after all these years – we’ve actually never done this, so this was super cool that we got to do it at such a pinnacle point in both our careers. For me it was super cool, I literally wanted to take pictures, I wanted to bring my baby out, I’m like way too excited. It was really fun.”
Both Federer and Serena struggled to return each others’ serve and the Swiss later explained what it was like facing the 23-time major champion.
“I was nervous returning, because you just don’t know. People talk about her serve so much and I see why it is such a wonderful serve, because you just can’t read it,” he stated before Serena interrupted him saying: “I can’t read yours either”.
Federer continued: “We have the same qualities but yours is a bit better. For me it was a bit nerve-wracking too to be honest because all of a sudden, especially the last serve at 3-all, I’m like, ‘I got to win this point, but it’s Serena Williams’, and I was telling myself, ‘This is maybe what I’ve always wanted, a big time moment like this’, and I made the serve but then I actually totally missed the target, and thank you for missing for missing the all. It was great, great fun.
“Great champion, you see how focused and determined she is and I love that about her.”
— Hopman Cup (@hopmancup) January 1, 2019
Serena feels Federer’s serve is actually underrated and joked that she’ll ask him for tips later.
“The guy is great, he’s the greatest of all time to be honest, both on the court and off the court, he has such charisma,” said Serena.
“I think, I’m trying to narrow it down here, I don’t know if this is the right thing to say, I think his serve is super underestimated. He has a killer serve, literally you can’t read it. There’s a reason why he’s the greatest, because you can’t be that great and not have such an awesome weapon like that serve. I watch him all the time but I never knew how amazing it was, so it was really cool to kind of learn, hopefully I can get some tips later on.”
Earlier in the day, Serena came from a set down to defeat Bencic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3, while Federer downed Tiafoe 6-4, 6-1.
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