Tennis superstars Serena Williams and Roger Federer will play each other for the first time on New Year’s Day when the US takes on Switzerland in the Hopman Cup mixed doubles.
The match-up at Perth Arena is set to draw worldwide interest, and the players themselves are equally pumped – it’s not certain which of the two champions is more excited about the contest.
In the lead-up to the match Williams declared her intention to get a selfie with Federer during the contest to post on social media site Instagram.
“It’s the age of social media,” Federer said with a laugh when told about Williams’ plan.
Federer lavished praise on his 23-time grand slam singles winner, saying the match will be something special.
“It’s very exciting for both of us,” Federer said.
“I hope a lot of tennis fans will tune in to watch the match, because it’s going to be one time and probably never again in this kind of competition.
“I admire everything she’s done on and off the court.
“We can relate to one another now even more so for being parents.
“I’ve played with some of the greatest doubles players in the world in Martina Navratilova and Martina Hingis, and I’ve also played against some of the best in Venus [Williams] and other great ones in the past.
This time it’s against Serena, who is one of the biggest champions ever in our sport – men and women combined.”
Federer, who is likely to partner Belinda Bencic in the match, has 20 grand slam singles titles to his name after he added another Australian Open victory to his impressive CV in 2018.
So far in the Hopman Cup, Federer has been in good touch. He opened his campaign in perfect style, crushing world No.91 Cameron Norrie 6-1 6-1 in 57 minutes.
The 37-year-old Swiss will face off against rising star Frances Tiafoe in Tuesday’s tie against the US, before playing Williams in the mixed doubles.
Williams will take on Bencic in the women’s singles rubber.
Bencic beat Katie Boulter 6-2 7-6 in her opening clash of the tournament to help Switzerland clinch victory over Great Britain.
Switzerland sits atop group A after a convincing start to its campaign.
Germany took an early lead in group B, just ahead of Australia.
The hosts won their first tie against France, thanks to Ash Barty and Matthew Ebden’s singles victories.
See the latest results here.