Serena Williams joked that she has been training all offseason just to be ready for her mixed doubles showdown against Roger Federer at the Hopman Cup in Perth next week as the American returns to Western Australia for the first time since 2016.
Williams, who lost an exhibition match to her sister Venus at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, is teaming with her compatriot Frances Tiafoe to represent USA in the mixed team competition.
The highly-anticipated clash between USA and Switzerland that will pit Williams and Federer against one another will take place on New Year’s Day.
“I’m excited to go to Perth, it’s been a while since I’ve been there. I’m excited to be able to get back. You know I’ve been training offseason to be ready for Roger, so not sure how I’m going to do but we’ll see,” said Williams with a laugh.
Federer and his team-mate Belinda Bencic won last January’s Hopman Cup and will be back in Perth to try and defend their title. Federer admits squaring off against Williams is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of match.
“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.
“That’s why I hope we’re both going to be injury-free when that day comes around.”
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