News & Media

Federer sends Switzerland into final

3 January 2019, by AAP

Roger Federer’s Switzerland is into the Mastercard Hopman Cup final for a second straight year after the 20-time Grand Slam champion beat exciting young Greek Stefanos Tsitsipas at RAC Arena.

Federer overcame a scare in the first set tiebreak to win 7-6(5) 7-6(4) in 93 minutes.

The win game 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 US (2-1) earlier in the tournament.

Greece, who needed to beat Switzerland 3-0 to reach the final, made it a memorable tie regardless after Maria Sakkari was a straight-sets winner over Belinda Bencic.

She then combined with Tsitsipas to upset Federer and Bencic in the entertaining mixed doubles, providing Greece with an overall 2-1 win in the tie against Switzerland.

Hopes for a Greek upset looked promising earlier, when the 20-year-old world No.15 Tsitsipas led 4-1 in the first-set tiebreak.

Federer reeled off four straight points to get himself back into the contest, before a late Tsitsipas double fault handed the Swiss maestro set point.

Eight of the first 11 service games in the opening set were won to love, and the serve continued to dominate in the second set.

Federer couldn’t convert either of his three break points in the second set as the contest headed to another tiebreak.

Federer reeled off four straight points to get himself back into the contest, before a late Tsitsipas double fault handed the Swiss maestro set point.

Eight of the first 11 service games in the first set were won to love.

And the serve also dominated the second set as neither player was able to gain a break.

But Federer came up with the goods in the tiebreak, producing a deft drop shot to set up three match points.

Stefanos is just 20 years of age, and Federer was impressed by what he saw from the rising star.

“He could be my son,” 37-year-old Federer joked of the age gap.

“He did a nice job. I think we both played well without too many mistakes.

“I learned about his game. From my game, I didn’t learn anything.

“For me, it’s about maintaining a good level of play. I’m happy where my game is at. And I was impressed with what I saw from Stefan.”

Tsitsipas idolised Federer growing up, and was thrilled to finally play the Swiss maestro.

“It was unbelievable. I’ve been dreaming of this moment for a very long time,” Tsitsipas said..

“It’s the best feeling on Earth, even though I lost. There’s a lot of things I can learn from that match. It was a really good lesson today.”