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'Once in a lifetime': Williams v Federer for the Hopman Cup

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Getty Images Roger Federer and Serena Williams were interviewed together on court at the Hopman Cup

Serena Williams ensured her first ever on-court meeting with Roger Federer would have a competitive edge as she fought back on Tuesday to win her singles in the Hopman Cup.

Federer and Belinda Bencic won 4-2, 4-3 (5-3) under the shorter Fast4 format against Williams and Frances Tiafoe.

Serena Williams will be playing Roger Federer for the first time in mixed doubles.

Federer eventually clinched it for reigning champion by claiming the winning point in the truncated tiebreak used in mixed doubles with a ideal angled volley. Thank you for making it possible.

Ahead of the day, Federer said the prospect of playing with Williams was "very exciting" for both of them, as he had a lot of respect for her both within the sporting world and outside of it.

" I was nervous returning because people talk about her serve so much".

As of Monday afternoon, the match had generated enormous buzz among tennis enthusiasts ― which isn't surprising given that Federer and Williams have collectively won 43 Grand Slam titles.

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Williams, who seemed to be troubled by her right shoulder during the match but said it wasn't a concern, was disappointed her doubles experience didn't give the Americans the edge. Magazine's June/July issue this year, Federer praised Williams. I would even cry sometimes just because.... The 20-time Grand Slam champion moved around the court well and hit the ball crisply to overwhelm Norrie.

The original "Battle of the Sexes" saw Billie Jean King beat Bobby Riggs in an exhibition singles match in 1973.

But Williams lifted in the big moments, breaking Bencic in the final game of the second set to level the scores, before powering to victory in the third.

"It's definitely a relief".

He added: "For me it was a bit nerve-racking, because all of a sudden you are serving, especially the last serve at 3-3, I'm telling myself I need to win this point, but it's Serena Williams".

Williams, who lost to her sister Venus in an exhibition match in Abu Dhabi last week, will be back in action on Tuesday night when the USA take on the Roger Federer-led Switzerland.

In his singles match, Federer scored successive wins to start the new season with an impressive 6-4, 6-1 victory over Frances Tiafoe.

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