Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic took Switzerland to their third Hopman Cup title on Saturday as they beat Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-3(3) 4-2 in the deciding mixed doubles.
The title was Federer’s second at the Hopman Cup after he triumphed way back in 2001 alongside Martina Hingis, who was world number one at the time.
“She (Hingis) had a great career and to have that in a small country like Switzerland is very rare,” Federer said post-match. “It made me also believe with hard work and dedication you get really far because I didn’t believe that much at that point when I was younger, I thought it was more all talent.
“I was trying to play as aggressively as possible. I’m maybe better when we’re closer together.
“The court plays fast, so it helps if you approach (the net) and do it the right way. It was working out well, so I thought I’d keep going until I had to fix it. That never happened, so I was able to cruise all the way through.”
Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland pose with the Hopman Cup trophy together with Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber of Germany with the runners up plate after the final on day eight during the 2018 Hopman Cup at Perth Arena.
Earlier in the day, Federer stormed back from a set down to beat Zverev 6-7(4) 6-0 6-2 and give Switzerland a 1-0 lead before Angelique Kerber levelled up the contest, beating Bencic 6-4 6-1 to set up the decider.
Zverev played an inspired tie-break to assume a one-set lead, including a lob that was so special the normally unflappable Swiss fired a ball into the stands in frustration.
But the 36-year-old, who is targeting a sixth Australian Open title in Melbourne, roared back in hugely impressive fashion to bagel the young German.
Federer’s audacious drop shot on match point to close out the encounter summed up the confidence he is oozing ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.
The Swiss is favourite to triumph at the Australian Open with a number of bookmakers, with Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic both struggling to shake off injuries and Andy Murray having already retired with his persistent hip problem.