Serena and Federer's touch of class after historic match

Serena Williams and Roger Federer had never played against each other in an official match

Federer and Williams have won 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them, but it was the 20-time Grand Slam champion who spearheaded Switzerland's 4-2 4-3 (5-3) victory over the United States in a mixed-doubles decider at the Hopman Cup.

Federer and Williams' historic match saw the two play against each other for the first time.

Federer eventually clinched it for reigning champion by claiming the winning point in the truncated tiebreak used in mixed doubles with a flawless angled volley. The two once played on the same team at an exhibition match in 2010 and have taken the court on the same weekend eight other times, including in 2017, but never have actually squared off across the net from each other. "I used to practice with some women's players, when I was younger, you know, when I was maybe 15 and I was at the national tennis center and I used to play sets with the pro-women", said Roger Federer.

"It was great fun and she is a great champion".

There was a memorable moment in the second set when a Tiafoe shot struck a shocked but amused Federer on the head with the match played in very fine spirits. Magazine's June/July issue this year, Federer praised Williams. I recognise when it's just pain or it's pain that's unsafe.

"I see with Belinda when I strike the ball through the middle", said Federer.

Switzerland lead Group B at the tournament, followed by Greece and Great Britain, with the U.S. bringing up the rear.

Frances Tiafoe and Serena Williams took on Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup
Image Frances Tiafoe and Williams took on Federer and Belinda Bencic at the Hopman Cup

The mixed doubles clash was always going to hog the spotlight given it was the first time Federer had faced off against Williams in a competitive match.

Some fans and media outlets were likening the match to 1973′s "Battle of the Sexes", when 39-time Grand Slam champion Billie Jean King beat former men's world No. 1 Bobby Riggs in straight sets.

Serena Williams required some running repairs on her ankle as she powered to a 7-6 (7-3) 6-2 win over Maria Sakkari at the Hopman Cup on Monday.

"It was definitely a relief".

'For me it was a bit nerveracking too be honest all of a sudden I was thinking you have to win this point but then you're telling yourself it's Serena Williams.

"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", Williams said.

Federer is flying through the Australian Open winning a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Cameron Norrie on Sunday.

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