Roger Federer helps Switzerland defend historic Hopman Cup title

It was the prefect preparation for the Australian Open as Roger Federer teamed up with Belinda Bencic to help Switzerland defend its Hopman Cup title in Perth.

Federer and Bencic beat the German team of Alexander Zverev and Angelique Kerber 4-0 1-4 4-3 (5-4) in the deciding mixed doubles in a repeat of last year’s final.

Switzerland became the first team to defend the Hopman Cup, while the win was a record third in the competition for the 37-year-old Federer.

The 20-time grand slam champion beat world No.4 Zverev 6-4 6-2 in Saturday’s opening singles before Kerber leveled the score at 1-1 with a 6-4 7-6 (8-6) victory over former top-10 player Bencic, 21.

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Federer and Bencic clinched victory when Zverev hit the ball into the net on the winner-takes-all final point at 4-4 in Saturday’s final.

“What a thrill it was — not just the match point, but also the whole match and the whole week,” said Federer, who won his first Hopman Cup in 2001 with Martina Hingis.

“It’s great fun. I’m happy, I’m proud to represent my country. It’s been a super pleasure teaming with Belinda.”

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Speaking on court after the second straight final defeat by the Swiss duo, Zverev joked: “We’re sick of you guys.

“Especially you [Roger]. You’re thirty-whatever. Why? Just why?”

Federer will be bidding for a seventh Australian Open title and third in a row when the year’s first grand slam begins in Melbourne on January 14.