Roger Federer and Serena Williams, two of the greatest tennis players of all time, found the perfect way to welcome in the new year. They both did something they’d never done before: play each other.
Williams and Federer, both 37, faced off in a mixed-doubles exhibition match at the Hopman Cup on Tuesday. Federer and his partner Belinda Bencic came out on top, beating Williams and Frances Tiafoe 4-2 4-3 (5-3).
It was an exhibition match and while the two didn’t take it lightly, it’s clear they had a ton of fun while representing their countries. When it was over, Williams and Federer stood at the end of the net and took an adorable selfie together.
— Eurosport UK (@Eurosport_UK) January 1, 2019
After the match, the two talked about how much they enjoyed the friendly competition. Federer couldn’t believe he had the opportunity to face Serena Williams, and lavished praise on her excellent serving skills. Via USA Today:
“What a pleasure. What an honor,” Federer said. “It was nerve-wracking, too. I thought, ‘I’ve got to win this point but it is Serena Williams.’
“People talk about her serve so much and I see why it is such a wonderful serve because you just can’t read it.”
Williams felt the same about facing Federer, and also heaped compliments on his serves.
“It was a great experience,” Williams said. “I’m sorry it had to finish; I was just warming up. It was such fun, we grew up together. It was super cool. I wanted to take pictures and bring my baby out.”
“This guy (Federer) is great, both off the court and on the court. I think his serve is super-underestimated. It’s a killer serve, you can’t read it. I watched him all the time and I never knew how amazing it was.”
Williams was sad it had to end because she was just warming up! Maybe we can look forward to a real one-on-one match between the two of them in the future.
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