Switzerland are Mastercard Hopman Cup champions for the third time after Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic combined to topple Team Germany’s Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-3(3) 4-2.
19-time Grand Slam champion Federer, who lifted the trophy alongside Martina Hingis back in 2001, won all four of his singles contests, whilst a rejuvenated Bencic helped maintain an unbeaten Swiss record in the mixed doubles.
Earlier, Roger Federer outplayed Sascha Zverev 6-7(4) 6-0 6-2 to begin an enthralling final. The contest was levelled by Angelique Kerber defeating Bencic 6-4 6-1.
Back on court in the mixed doubles Federer missed a volley on top of the net as a deciding point was chalked up on Bencic’s serve, but the Swiss escaped when Kerber netted an angled forehand.
It was a high-quality quartet and this time Germany had to stave off a deciding point. Zverev’s sharp reactions secured the point as the set edged into a tiebreak.
From 2-0 to the Germans, Switzerland reeled off four points in a row, including a blistering Bencic backhand return winner down the line and a flicked Federer volley winner from up high. The Swiss were half way to the trophy.
Zverev smirked in disbelief when he rocketed a backhand at Bencic and the Swiss shut her eyes, but still managed to deflect the ball back in from the wobbling frame.
However, Bencic’s returning was particularly effective and enables Federer to pick off volleys at the net. The 20-year-old deflected a bullet backhand return winner, ahead of a trademark backhand winner from Federer to spark the pivotal break.
Federer took to the baseline, held to love with an ace and it was simply Swiss bliss at Perth Arena. AFP