2018 Hopman Cup: Switzerland claim title over Germany

The 2018 Hopman Cup came to a dramatic climax on Saturday, with the Swiss team of Roger Federer and Belinda Bencic sealing a 2-1 victory over the German duo of Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber in the Fast4 mixed doubles to claim the title.

The two teams together after the final (Getty/Paul Kane)
The two teams together after the final (Getty/Paul Kane)

Switzerland were the favorites for the title pre-tournament, though faced their toughest tie of the week against the German team. Having not dropped a set all week, Federer was forced to come from a set down against Zverev to seal a 6-7(4), 6-0, 6-2 victory and put Switzerland in charge. However, Kerber then put in another impressive performance to hand Bencic he first defeat of the week, prevailing 6-4, 6-1 to take the encounter to the deciding mixed doubles, where Bencic and Federer sealed Switzerland’s first title at the event since 2001 with a 4-3(3), 4-2 win.

Federer fights back to down Zverev

Federer and Zverev had contrasting results on their respective ways to the final, with the Swiss not dropping a single set and the German losing two of his three matches, though the 19-time Grand Slam champion faced a huge task early on.

The Swiss could have claimed a tight first, holding a set point as Zverev was serving to stay in it, though failed to capitalize. This may have given Zverev some hope, and his confidence showed as he took control of the tiebreak and eventually sealed an exciting opening set.

Federer celebrates after going unbeaten in singles rubbers this week (Getty/Paul Kane)
Federer celebrates after going unbeaten in singles rubbers this week (Getty/Paul Kane)

However, with the pressure on, Federer began to take control. With Zverev starting to get frustrated throughout the second and third sets, the world number two raised his game and handed the German a second set bagel, and then dropped just two games in the decider as he sealed the opening point for the Swiss team in fairly confident style.

Kerber impresses, downs Bencic to even up proceedings

Both Kerber and Bencic had played encouraging tennis throughout the week after difficult 2017 seasons, with neither having lost a single rubber in Perth, though it was the former world number one who was able to take control and send the match to a deciding doubles.

Bencic had never lost to the German in any of their WTA Tour meetings, and that showed early on as the Swiss broke in the very opening game. However, Kerber quickly broke back and remained solid throughout the rest of the opening set, breaking for the second time in the match to win a set against Bencic for the first time.

Kerber did not drop a set in singles rubbers this week, impressing many with her performances (Getty/Will Russell)
Kerber did not drop a set in singles rubbers this week, impressing many with her performances (Getty/Will Russell)

Kerber had not dropped a set in her singles matches this week, and her confidence was evidently showing as she raced through the second set. The first set had been competitive and exciting, though the third set proved to be a demonstration of excellent tennis by the German, dropping just one game in the second set as she took the match to a deciding mixed doubles clash.

Federer, Bencic impress to seal title in Fast4 mixed doubles

Neither of the teams had lost a mixed doubles title this week, and though the decider proved to be tight, it was the Swiss duo her eventually took the rubber and the title in straight sets.

The first set proved to be tight, with it going to a mini tiebreak at three games apiece. The German team sealed a early minibreak, though the Swiss broke back immediately and eventually took the breaker 5-3. It looked as if the second set would be just as tight, though Federer and Bencic were able to break Zverev’s serve for a 3-2 lead, with Federer serving out to love to seal the title.