Federer beats Tiafoe, looks forward to playing Serena

It was a great start for Federer

This year's tournament is expected to be Perth's final Hopman Cup and tomorrow's group tie is an early sellout on the back of the prospect of seeing two of the all-time greats, with 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them, on the same court.

"It's just very exciting for both of us", Federer said about the match.

It was the first time the stars had ever gone head-to-head, with Federer and Swiss partner Belinda Bencic beating United States pair Williams and Frances Tiafoe in straight sets in their Group B clash.

The Swiss maestro had talked before the match of his nervousness at facing the feared Serena serve and his fears seemed confirmed as he was unable to cope with two deliveries in her opening service game, but thereafter he took control of the match with Bencic.

However, even a rare defeat couldn't take the gloss off the experience of facing Federer for the first, and nearly certainly the only, time.

Earlier Federer had said he was excited to play her.

"Playing someone so great and that you admire so much in a match that actually means something". He's the greatest of all time to be honest.

On New Year's Day, two of the greatest tennis champions ever will stride out onto a court in Perth, Australia, and play each other for the first time.

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Serena Williams has sent tennis fans into a frenzy with a photo of her and daughter Olympia at the Hopman Cup. I think his serve is super-underestimated.

"It was great fun, she is a great champion, you see how focussed and determined she is and I love that about her".

Federer already beat Great Britain's Cameron Norrie 6-1 6-1 yesterday.

In the end the Swiss pair eased to victory in the shortened "fast" format for the doubles, taking the first set 4-2 and the second set 4-3 on a tie-break.

Federer felt he handled Tiafoe's power game well. "I was like, 'Oh, my God, this is so cool.' So it's just something that, as a player, is something that you would dream of, to play Roger Federer".

Williams enjoyed a strong opening service game in the mixed doubles, with two of her serves proving too hard to handle for Federer.

Although the American was hitting more winners, she was also making more errors and looked in trouble until she broke Bencic in the 10th game to take the set and level the match.

"It was a definitely a relief", Williams said. Hearing your stories makes me know I can do this.

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