Swiss tennis star Roger Federer will finally face U.S. great Serena Williams, in the upcoming Hopman Cup mixed doubles match, reports say.
Federer and his playing partner Belinda Bencic are set to face Williams and her partner Frances Tiafoe in what is quickly becoming the most anticipated match of the New Year when the two teams face off on Tuesday. In fact, tickets for the game quickly sold out, the New York Post wrote.
“I admire everything she has done both on and off the court,” Federer said. “I have always thought how is it to return that serve and go head-to-head with her.”
Federer is flying through the Australian Open winning a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Cameron Norrie on Sunday. And his partner, Bencic, also won her match putting the finishing touch over the British team in Group B.
Williams noted that she has been training with the specific idea that she would be facing Federer.
“You know I’ve been training offseason to be ready for Roger, so not sure how I’m going to do but we’ll see,” Williams said.
“It’s very exciting for us. I hope tennis fans tune in and watch it because it’s going to be one time and probably never again in this type of competition,” Federer told the press, adding that the two “can relate to each other more so now, being parents.”
Williams also said the coming match was “like a dream come true.”
“I have been looking forward to it. This is so cool,” she said.
The Hopman Cup includes a round-robin of two singles and a mixed doubles match between nations with two groups of four. The Swiss team is the defending champions having won the previous event in Perth last January.
The match may be interesting for another reason. Last year American tennis legend John McEnroe scoffed that if Serena Williams’ record were to be measured by the standards of male players, she would rank a very low 700th in the men’s circuit.
Tennis fans may get a small taste of evidence to prove or disprove McEnroe’s theory with the upcoming Hopman Cup.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.