Roger Federer defeated fellow tennis great Serena Williams, as the two tennis legends rang in the new year with a historic match.
After both champions won their respective singles ties, Federer lead Switzerland’s 4-2, 4-3 (5-3) victory in the mixed doubles decider at the Hopman Cup in Perth.
Federer gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead with a 6-4 6-1 win over Frances Tiafoe. Williams then overcame a case of the first-set wobbles to post a 4-6 6-4 6-3 win over Belinda Bencic, levelling the tie.
Williams and Federer even took a selfie to mark the memorable occasion.
“It was great fun. I really enjoyed playing against Serena. What an honour,” Federer said in a post-match interview, according to news.com.au.
“I was nervous returning because people talk about her serve so much. I know why they say it now, she has a wonderful serve.
“She’s a great champion, you see how focused she is and I love that about her.”
Federer and Williams, both 37, have won 43 Grand Slam singles titles between them.
“I was so excited, and literally it was the match of my career,” Williams said. “Just playing someone so great, and someone you admire so much, and a match that actually means something – it’s not often that happens
It comes after the tennis star gave rare glimpse inside her close friendship with Duchess of Sussex Meghan, revealing they have been “relying” on each other’s support via regular text messages following the tennis star’s recent US Open drama.
The tennis pro, 36, launched a blistering verbal attack on umpire Carlos Ramos during her final match against Naomi Osaka, accusing him of sexism and branding him a ‘thief’ after he docked a point and handed out code violations to the tennis star throughout her match.
It led to a huge debate among viewers and while many defended Serena and pushed the need for more equality for women in tennis, others criticised her reaction and insisted the umpire was simply doing his job.
Now, in a tense TV interview with Aussie star Lisa Wilkinson on Channel 10’s The Project, Serena has revealed she has been texting Meghan following the scandal.
“We were actually just texting each other this morning,” Serena said in the chat, which was filmed three days after her on-court antics. “We have known each other for a long time, but we really kind of are relying on each other right a lot recently.”