Roger Federer made an nearly flawless start to his Australian Open preparation with a superb straight-sets win over Cameron Norrie as defending champions Switzerland beat Britain in the mixed teams Hopman Cup in Perth on Sunday (Dec 30).
"This was a great start but obviously a long way to go here and in Melbourne", Federer said.
This year's tournament is expected to be Perth's final Hopman Cup and Tuesday'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.
The tennis superstars will play each other for the first time when Switzerland take on the U.S. in the Hopman Cup mixed doubles on Tuesday.
Bencic and Federer are the defending champions.
The match has been compared to the 1973 exhibition match known as Battle of the Sexes, where Billie Jean King roundly beat Bobby Riggs.
The two may both be tennis superstars, but Federer admitted he barely knows Williams.
Williams has said in a television interview that she was looking forward to getting a picture with Federer for her Instagram page.
Putting her amazingly toned figure on full display, Serena looked sensational in the red skater-style dress with a sweetheart neckline. "This is so cool".
Serena Williams said she wants a selfie with Roger Federer for her Instagram page. AFP GIUSEPPE CACACE
"It's still early days, but I feel like I've played some sets and points in practice, so you kind of know where you are", Federer said.
"It is going to be one time, probably never again. She is one of the biggest champions in our sport ever, men and women combined, so it is great to be playing against her", Federer added.
"It was very good".
"I felt a bit uncomfortable in the first match I played".
At the Hopman Cup, eight teams representing their nations compete in a round-robin format.
They will play in men's and women's singles rubbers before meeting in the mixed doubles alongside partners Belinda Bencic and Frances Tiafoe.
Norrie, who had defeated Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas in straight sets Saturday, struggled to match Federer's crisp stroke-making. In an escalating argument, she called him a "thief" and accused him of stealing a point from her.
The duo face Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic of Switzerland on Sunday before finishing the group stage against the United States' Serena Williams and Frances Tiafoe.
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