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Federer guides Switzerland to 2-1 triumph over Germany

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Roger Federer geared up for his Australian Open title defence in convincing fashion, guiding Switzerland to a 2-1 triumph over Germany on Saturday for their fourth Hopman Cup crown.

Federer and Belinda Bencic beat Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-0 1-4 4-3(4) in the deciding mixed doubles rubber.

It helped them to secure the trophy at the Perth Arena, in a repeat of last year’s title clash.

The world number three earlier stamped his authority as a firm favourite for the season’s first major, firing 24 winners and nine aces.

It was a flawless 6-4 6-2 win over ATP Finals champion Zverev.

Kerber too maintained her 100 percent singles record with a 6-4 7-6(6) victory over Bencic to level the tie at 1-1, but the Germans failed to make the most of their opportunities.

They therefore went down in the tight mixed doubles rubber.

“I’m happy I’m feeling this good and playing as well as I am,” said Federer, who has won the last two Australian Open titles after taking part in the mixed-team event.

Federer had beaten Frances Tiafoe, Stefanos Tsitsipas, Cameron Norrie and Zverev in straight sets and will be full of confidence heading into Melbourne Park later this month.

“It’s good to finish on a singles performance like this. I’m a bit surprised the matches have gone as well as they have,” the 37-year-old added.

It was Federer’s third title success in the Hopman Cup following victory in 2001 alongside then world number one Martina Hingis and last year’s success with Bencic.

Switzerland’s first win in the competition was secured by Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere and Jakob Hlasek in 1992.

(Reuters/NAN)



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