Federer, Bencic win ultra-climactic Hopman Cup final

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Just ask rising German star Alexander Zverev, who made no secret of his frustration after he and partner Angelique Kerber conceded the Hopman Cup final to Federer and Belinda Bencic for the second year running on Saturday night.

The win gave Switzerland a 1-0 lead in the tie - enough to book them a spot in Saturday's final given they already beat Great Britain (3-0) and the United States (2-1) earlier in the tournament.

Kerber kept the tie alive by winning the second rubber in straight sets, Bencic going down 6-4 7-6 (8-6).

Federer was a dominant figure in an extraordinary doubles match as the Swiss claimed the abbreviated format, 4-0, 1-4, 4-3 (5/4), to clinch the title.

The 37-year-old used the Hopman Cup as his launching pad for winning the past two Australian Opens, the first of which in 2017 ended an nearly five-year Grand Slam drought for Federer.

The 37-year-old used the Hopman Cup as his launching pad for winning the past two Australian Opens, the first of which in 2017 ended an nearly five-year Grand Slam drought for Federer.

Barty had four chances to break back in the fourth game of the second set, but Kerber battled valiantly to hold serve. In the hard-fought tie-break Kerber then used their third match ball.

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Marc Leishman on his way to a 68 at Kapalua today. "They weren't too happy that the ball went in, so it made me laugh", he said. World No.20 Leishman will be in the second last group and likes his chances of making up the four-shot deficit.

Smashing their way through the first set 4-0, Federer and Bencic looked like they would breeze past the Germans.

The 37-year-old has shown throughout his long and illustrious career that he can remain playing at the highest level, and during said career, he has won a staggering 20 Grand Slams in the process.

It was Kerber who maintained her 100 per cent record in the competition, triumphing 6-4 6-4 before Zverev earned a 6-4 6-3 win over Ebden. "The players have always enjoyed this event, so let's hope it continues in some shape and form", said Federer, adding that he believed a mixed teams event was good for tennis. "I'm a bit surprised that the matches have gone as well as they have", he said. But in the end, the experience and athleticism of Kerber proved just enough to seal the match, 7-6 (6), with a final victor.

Roger Federer is not particularly anxious about being affected by the heat at the Australian Open.

However, this may well be the last Hopman Cup, which is scheduled to be displaced by the new ATP Cup which will overlap with the event from next year.

"She was fighting until the last one (point)", the German said.

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