PERTH, Australia - We’re only one day into the new year, but Serena Williams and Roger Federer have already given tennis fans the best moment of 2019.
The long-awaited Hopman Cup clash between Switzerland and United States pitted two of the sports biggest legends against each other, with Serena taking on Federer in a mixed doubles clash for the ages.
Earlier in the tie, 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer took down 20-year-old American Frances Tiafoe in straight sets, 6-4, 6-1 - giving Switzerland an early lead. But 23-time Grand Slam winner Serena put the United States back on track in the next rubber, edging past 21-year-old Belinda Bencic 4-6, 6-4, 6-3.
And so it all came down to the mixed doubles rubber, which saw Serena take the court against Federer for the first time in her career.
“I’ve been looking forward to it since I saw it,” Serena said before the clash. “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.”
“It’s very exciting for both of us,” Federer also said. “I hope that a lot of tennis fans are going to tune in and watch it, because it’s going to be one time and probably never again, in this kind of a competition.
“We’re both fierce competitors and we always want to win. We'll try our best.”
A lot of tennis fans did indeed watch: more than 14,000 people packed the Perth Arena to witness the event - the highest single-session attendance in the 31 years of Hopman Cup.
In the end, it was Switzerland that earned the tiebreaking victory to move on: Bencic and Federer took down Serena and Tiafoe 4-2, 4-3(5-3) in a highly entertaining battle.
Afterwards the pair of tennis legends stopped to take a selfie to commemorate the incredible moment.
Looking good, GOATs!
“It was a great experience, I’m kind of sad it’s over - I was just warming up!” Serena joked in their post-match interview. “Honestly, it was so fun.
“[Roger and I] grew up together, and so having an opportunity after all of these years to play each other - we’ve actually never done this. It’s super cool that we actually get to do this, at this pinnacle of both of our careers.”
Check out the full post match interview right here:
But we think Serena said it best: